A tourist boat passes under a bridge next to the Westerkerk church in Amsterdam April 2, 2013. Reuters


  • Wild young visitors told to 'stay away' from Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam residents have been complaining about the drunken behaviors of some tourists
  • Some UK companies called the 'Stay Away' campaign 'alarmist'

Historic architecture and iconic canals -- Amsterdam is an attractive city for vacations, but some tourists are told to stay away.

The Netherlands' capital warned visitors against traveling to the city for drugs or parties.

Launched in Great Britain, the "Stay Away" online campaign is aimed at nuisance tourists who want to "go wild." Specifically, British male tourists aged between 18 and 35.

Tourists who go online using search terms like "stag party Amsterdam," "cheap hotel Amsterdam" and "pub crawl Amsterdam" will be shown warning advertisements about the consequences of wild behavior and excessive drug and alcohol abuse in the city. This includes being fined, arrested and getting a criminal record.

In one of the videos released by the city government, a man is seen being arrested and jailed. The video warns people who are "coming to Amsterdam for a messy night and getting trashed" will face a fine of €140 ($152).

"Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case, we as a city will say: rather not, stay away," Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Sofyan Mbarki stressed.

The campaign also serves as an effort to fight excessive tourism. Some implemented measures include reduced opening hours, a ban on smoking cannabis in public and a reduction of alcohol sales in certain areas of the inner city.

"The discouragement campaign is one of the steps in the wide array of measures which was adopted by the City Council and is part of the Visitors Economy Vision 2035," authorities said in a news release.

According to a BBC report, Amsterdam residents have been complaining about the drunken behaviors of Brits that involve urinating in public and throwing up in canals.

It doesn't help that some U.K.-based travel agencies offer stag weekends in Amsterdam, including unlimited alcohol on canal boat cruises and pub crawls in the red light district.

Ian Johnson of Last Night of Freedom, a British company that arranges bachelor parties, called the campaign "alarmist," stressing that the campaign would not rid Amsterdam of its reputation.

"Business is booming on our end," he told the New York Times. "I don't think this is going to stop it."

Local authorities said that the "Stay Away" campaign will also be expanded to other EU countries.

An American Airlines aircraft lands at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia