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Amsterdam Authorities Reveal Plans For 'Erotic Centre' Away From The City

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Amsterdam Authorities Reveal Plans For 'Erotic Centre' Away From The City

Amsterdam authorities have revealed plans for an 'erotic centre' away from the city.

Councillors are set to vote on proposals to build a new red light district outside of the notorious tourist spot De Wallen.

Tours of the legal prostitution zone were already banned as of April last year, but it's hoped the latest move will help clean up the capital, taking away the lure of sex and drugs, and reducing crime.

Speaking about the plans, Councillor Dennis Boutkan, of the PvdA labour party, said it represented "reset of the visitor economy".

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The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, who is at the centre of this reform, has put forward three sets of proposals to move sex tourism away and also reduce drug consumption and crime in the city.

Plans have been submitted to create an 'erotic centre' outside Amsterdam. Credit: PA
Plans have been submitted to create an 'erotic centre' outside Amsterdam. Credit: PA

She said: "These measures aim to result in a better mixture of functions, better control, a valuable visitor economy and strengthening cultural diversity and the local identity, more diverse range of housing and more residents in the inner city, more accessible public space and more greenery."

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According to the Guardian, if approved, the ban would come into force at some point in 2022.

Research showed that 58 percent of tourists who go to Amsterdam mainly go because it is legal to consume cannabis. Which is probably not that surprising.

Ms Halsema said: "Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists - but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions."

She said that the city would still be 'open, hospitable and tolerant', but she believes that life would be made more difficult for criminals, with a reduction in low-budget tourism.

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Mayor Femke Halsema is trying to clean up the city. Credit: PA
Mayor Femke Halsema is trying to clean up the city. Credit: PA

Ms Halsema said it would mean a transition period for coffee shop owners, as well as consultation period.

Local businesses have been mainly supportive of the move, with Robbert Overmeer, of the BIZ Utrechtsestraat business association, saying cannabis coffee shops remain 'one of the most important links in the chain of low-value tourism'.

And while he insists the city doesn't just want to welcome tourists who have a lot of money, he explained to DutchNews: "We say come to Amsterdam for the museums, the food, for love or for friends - but not to skulk around, smoke dope and do drugs."

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However, Joachim Helms of the coffee shop owners' association BCD, thinks it will increase street drugs.

He told the Dutch ANP news agency: "Cannabis is a popular product that people enjoy worldwide.

"People want to smoke their joint. If that can't happen in a coffee shop, then they will buy it on the street."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: amsterdam, Sex, Coronavirus, Cannabis, Drugs, Smoking, Holiday, Health, tourism

Dominic Smithers

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