“I Amsterdam” Program Helps City with Overcrowding

by Allie Moore

Dec 25, 2017

© Roberto Lusso | Dreamstime.com
Among the busiest and biggest in Europe is Amsterdam Schipol Airport, an iconic airport opened in 1916. Travelers through the airport enjoy its wide variety of leisure activities, including a library, XpresSpa and luxurious lounges.

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European cities that have seen a dramatic influx of visitors in recent years have been forced to take action to mitigate the crowds and manage the locale’s authenticity and appeal. Cities like Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are just a few that implemented measures to keep overcrowding at bay and ensure an enjoyable experience for all visitors. One European city that hopes to prevent this issue before it becomes an unfixable problem is Amsterdam. Each day, the Dutch capital welcomes 7.8 visitors per every permanent resident, just slightly higher than seen at Disney World, the most popular theme park in the world.

As a response to this escalating statistic, Amsterdam called upon I Amsterdam, the city’s tourism group that reconfigured and rebranded previously neglected areas to make them more attractive to visitors.

One such example is Zandvoort, a beach that, although 18 miles from the center of the city, is still part of the city’s network of transportation and attractions. The beach has been renamed Amsterdam Beach to play upon the coast’s proximity to the center, and the network for public transportation passes extended beyond the city as a result.

Another of I Amsterdam’s initiatives is to advertise alternative attractions on the websites for some of the city’s more popular ones, like the Van Gogh Museum, which can see lines as long as three hours during the morning hours. A Facebook chat bot is slated to debut in late 2018 to scan users’ posts and preferences. Based on the data, the bot will recommend to users things to do and see in and around Amsterdam.

While other cities set admission limits and change once free areas to ticketed areas, Amsterdam still encourages tourists to visit, but to consider other aspects of the city that may be of more interest and less crowded.

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