Striving for a Balance Between Trade, Tolerance and Tourism

Striving for a Balance Between Trade, Tolerance and Tourism


Published chapter in Overtourism – Excesses, Discontents and Measures in Travel and Tourism – ed. Milano, C., Cheer, J.M., Novelli, M. (2019), CABI, UK


Roos Gerritsma

Original Title

Overcrowded Amsterdam: Striving for a Balance Between Trade, Tolerance and Tourism

Amsterdam is known worldwide for its historical beauty, liberal lifestyle and tolerant atmosphere. With 860,000 residents (fewer than 90,000 living in the inner city), Amsterdam received 8.3 million hotel guests in 2017 and is urgently searching for ways to better manage its immense popularity. It’s reputation is not a coincidence, but the result of the evolution of Amsterdam from a small urban trading centre into a prominent tourism city and destination, and that evolution forms the basis of the chapter Roos Gerritsma wrote.

New Urban Tourism

Within New Urban Tourism, part of the Creative Business knowledge centre, we focus on tourism as an integral part of the urban environment. Tourists literally walk among locals and use the same facilities. In other words, they cannot be considered a separate entity. But how do these large groups of visitors affect cities and neighbourhoods? And can we find a way for tourism to benefit the city? For instance, can we design activities in such a way that they engender new local business, make places more liveable and make locals prouder of their neighbourhoods? What can we learn about this from studies carried out in other cities abroad? We take a holistic approach to tourism, combining an international frame of mind with a local approach. In our lab environments, in association with stakeholders, we design interventions designed to help us gain a better understanding of underlying processes in major cities and their surroundings and ultimately to improve these regions.