‘We Must Act Now’: Netherlands Tries to Control Tourism Boom

Strategy may involve tourist tax and closing down attractions in crowded regions

Daniel Boffey | May 6, 2019

The tulips are being trampled, the people of Amsterdam squeezed out of their canal-side homes and the Netherlands’ most picturesque villages, famous for their windmills, swamped.

Now, with as many as 42 million people forecast to visit the country annually by 2030, up from 18 million in 2018, the Netherlands tourist board has had enough.

In a major shift, the board is moving its focus from promoting the country as a tourist destination to trying to manage the huge numbers coming in by plane, train and automobile.

A country of 17 million people can have too much of a good thing, it is suggested.

“We say that ‘more’ is not always better, certainly not everywhere,” a tourist board policy document states. “To be able to control visitor flows, we must take action now. Instead of destination promotion it’s time for destination management.”

Such is the nuisance factor of some tourists in parts of the Netherlands that the tourist board is even encouraging regions to take up a policy of “develop and discourage”.

A document laying out the strategy suggests this might require actively dissuading people from visiting certain areas through means such as closing down disreputable attractions to imposing a tourist tax. The standard of life of some of the country’s residents is said to be coming under pressure.

“Tourism is not a goal, in this perspective,” a spokeswoman for the tourist board said of the strategy, which was devised at the end of last year but has hit the headlines in Holland due to recent budget negotiations with the Dutch government. …

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Against ‘Sustainability’ and Other Plastic Words

How techno-speak is robbing us of our feelings and our future.

By Andrew Nikiforuk | May 2, 2019

The word sustainability, were it up to me, would be extinct, wiped out, kaput.

It is hard to escape the word’s tyranny.

Economists promise “sustainable economies” while business types explore “sustainability accounting.”

Greens promise a “sustainable future,” and even greener pundits swear that technology will deliver “global sustainability.”

Miners promise to dig more sustainable holes and foresters propose to mow down old growth trees more sustainably.

The United Nations champions “sustainable development goals” as though SDGs were a delightful venereal disease.

But apparently every nation must set some SDGs, and go for it.

Why, there are even research chairs in sustainable development at universities. And I suppose, somewhere, there are people proposing to be sustainable journalists.

We have forgotten the original meaning of sustain, which stems from the Old French sostenir, meaning “hold up bear; suffer, endure.” In the 14th century — a period of pestilence and famine, it meant endure without failing or yielding.”

As civilization collapses we are going to need that old word again.

But well-intentioned greens took a word with historic meaning and turned it into plastic soup with the Brundtland report published by the United Nations in 1987.

That document let the word loose on the world like feral cats in Australia’s outback by defining “sustainable development” as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

What sustainable meant in 1987 and means now is unlimited industrial and technological growth or more of the same old bullshit because “the economy and the environment must go hand in hand, sustainably.” …

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