The Dutch national tourist board, NBTC, has stated they think it would be wise to not organise the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Amsterdam. They state the capital is well-known enough to not actually need the promotion of hosting the contest next year. Besides, the agency seem keen to show the world there’s more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam.
More unknown, just as great
Tourism in Amsterdam is at a peak high, NBTC say. The amounts of visitors in the Dutch capital are too big for the city to actually be able to handle the annual flow of people coming in and going out of town. Over thirty million tourists visit the city every year. A Eurovision Song Contest surely wouldn’t help in reducing that number.
That is why NBTC call for a different city to play host at next year’s music extravaganza. Their call is one for a ‘more complete total image’ of the Netherlands, where not everything is about Amsterdam. They name Rotterdam, Arnhem and Maastricht as other possibilities to stage a great contest. NBTC say a venue there may be more unknown, but it would definitely be just as great.
Praise is also there for the cities that have now expressed their desire to host the contest. Zwolle dropped out of the race yesterday, but that still leaves nine cities – including Amsterdam – who’ve expressed interest in hosting.
From tulips and canals to a new Netherlands
The NBTC have published two pieces about the Eurovision Song Contest next year. They paint a picture of how the Netherlands is widely regarded across its own borders and use the 2014 Eurovision postcard as an example. At that time, IlseDeLange and Waylon were on a boat on the Amsterdam canals, building their national flag with tulips in red, white and blue.
Jos Vranken, the director of NBTC, says that the contest is a wonderful opportunity to show a different side of the Netherlands to the world. Instead of wooden shoes, tulips and canals, the focus should be on international innovation. Specific projects like high tech development, water management and agrofood are mentioned. They call for the contest to be seen as an opportunity to create an international profile and not just as three nights of entertainment.
It’s not a surprise that the National Board for Tourism and Conventions seems to be so actively against a Eurovision Song Contest in Amsterdam. Just last year, the Amsterdam city council took action against the mass tourism in the city. The expansion of tourism has gone faster than the city can handle. As an example: In 2013, 4500 apartments were rented out for holiday use in the city. In 2017, that number was already up to more than 22,000.
The NBTC has as one of its tasks to promote the entire country and show tourists there’s more to explore than the Rembrandtplein and the Red Light District. NBTC receives its tasks from the Dutch government, as they’re officially part of the national government.