No cucumber time for Ko Koens
Even during the quiet summer months, the international media knew where to find professor New Urban Tourism Ko Koens. He was interviewed by The New York Times about the intention of the Amsterdam city council to no longer allow cruise ships to moor in the city center, at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam right next to Central Station. This is to deal with the pollution and the large number of tourists brought by the more than one hundred cruise ships that visit Amsterdam every year.
And nonprofit online magazine Reasons to be Cheerful also wanted to hear Ko's views in an article about Barcelona's strategy to combat over tourism.
The New York Times: “Party time is over”
Ko Koens says in the article:
“Amsterdam prides itself on being a very open and tolerant city, but residents felt that the open attitude was being abused by tourists. Covid showed residents how quiet the city could be, and now Amsterdam wanted to send a message: ‘Party time is over’.”
“City residents take a dim view of cruise ship tourists, who come in large groups for short visits that do not generate as much for local businesses as those who stay longer. The Venice scenario is what every city fears.”
Reasons to be cheerful: “Barcelona’s bold strategy”
The article includes the following quotes from Ko:
“The city decided to open up. Barcelona reinvented itself as a tourism city, a city for the visitor economy, and introduced much more tourist-friendly policies.”
“The meteoric rise of tourism in Barcelona dates back to when the Catalan city hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, according to Ko Koens, professor of New Urban Tourism at Rotterdam’s Inholland University of Applied Sciences.”
“By trying to just restrict tourism, it won’t solve the problem. We’ve seen tourists as consumers, their value is always defined in economic terms. It’s no surprise tourists act like that. But that relationship can change. We need to stimulate visitors to contribute to the qualities of the place rather than just act as consumers.”