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Amsterdam’s coffeeshops, already hit by Covid, fear a clampdown on tourists

A view in the direction of Oudezijds Voorburgwal lined with coffeeshops in Amsterdam.   Thomas Imo | Photothek | Getty Images
  • Amsterdam has long been a draw for millions of tourists from Europe and beyond but tourism has been hit by Covid-19 and travel restrictions.
  • Tourists are attracted to the city for its canals and culture as well as its coffeeshops and sex industry.
  • Coffeeshops are plentiful in Amsterdam and where the Dutch authorities tolerate the sale of cannabis products.
  • There could be a clampdown on foreign tourists visiting coffeeshops.

Amsterdam has long been a draw for millions of tourists from Europe and beyond, with many attracted to the city for its canals, architecture and museums and, of course, its plentiful cannabis-laden coffeeshops and unabashed sex industry.

But Europe’s so-called “city of sin” has not been the same since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, with tourism numbers sharply lower than previous years when the Netherlands’ capital could expect millions of visitors per year.

While many locals are loving the fact that they can wander and cycle through their city without dodging hoards of tourists, Amsterdam businesses that rely on visitors — such as coffeeshops, where cannabis can be openly bought and sold — are feeling the pinch, and there are fears that local authorities could soon clamp down further on their foreign customers.

“It’s been a quiet year, definitely,” Ben, who works at Barney’s Coffeeshop, told CNBC on Wednesday. “Obviously [it’s better] compared to last summer with the corona[virus], but this year it started getting busy but it’s still nothing compared to the years before. Only really French tourists have been coming over, French and Germans, not many English, not many Italians anymore.”

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Holly Ellyatt on CNBC

Published: September 10, 2021

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