Stag do firm warns of legal action against ‘xenophobic’ Brit ban from Amsterdam

A stag do firm has said it is considering legal action after officials in Amsterdam warned British revellers to ‘stay away’ from the Dutch capital.

Amsterdam’s city council wants to discourage "nuisance" tourists and excessive drunkenness on the streets and has painted British lads as loutish.

The campaign says that heading to Amsterdam for a “messy” weekend of drink and drugs could lead to arrest, a criminal record and even hospitalisation.

READ MORE: Amsterdam warns Brits to 'stay away' in bid to cut down sex and drug tourism

However, the advertising campaign has been criticised by the boss of Britain’s top stag and hen party provider, Last Night Of Freedom.

Businessman Matt Mavir has organised stag and hen trips for thousands of Brits since forming the Tyneside-based firm in 1999.

He claims that the Dutch targeted attack on UK lads is “sensationalist and xenophobic” – and potentially open to legal challenge.

“Currently the plan is aimed at making revellers feel unwelcome, but there’s an unease that officials want to go further and ban stags and hens completely,” said Matt.

“That’s a very dangerous path to pursue legally, as not only are you imposing restrictions on businesses right to trade, but there’s also a strong case for discrimination.

“And the fact they are only currently pursuing British groups screams of xenophobia, especially when the research behind this campaign suggests young Dutch men are just as likely to be a nuisance.

“We send hundreds of people from Britain to Amsterdam each year, and the vast majority behave impeccably yet if you stroll through the Red-Light District or Rembrandtplein at any given time you will hear dozens of different languages – so to solely blame the Brits is outrageous.”

The campaign includes videos of people being arrested before warning people they face punishments – including a three-figure fine – if caught misbehaving in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands is rolling out swatches of new rules in an attempt to clean up the type of tourist it attracts.

Cannabis has been banned in the Red Light District and there's a new limit on when brothels can be open as well as strict alcohol licensing rules in the area.

Matt said his staff visited the city last weekend on a fact-finding mission ahead of the campaign’s launch, and said the overwhelming feeling among those involved in the city’s stag and hen trade was that it would make “zero difference” to deterring stags to Amsterdam.

“A common misconception is that stags visit Amsterdam to solely smoke cannabis and visit prostitutes – that couldn’t be further from the truth,” added the Tyneside-based businessman.

“Stag parties are way more likely to spend their weekend drinking Heineken and taking party in some activities – by and large, men who visit Amsterdam’s prostitutes tend to be middle-aged sex tourists who visit for that purpose alone.

“Smoking cannabis also isn’t a great group activity. It is a bit anti-social and kills the camaraderie of a stag weekend.”

And he’s warned officials in Amsterdam face a “massive uphill struggle” to deter groups given the high levels of bookings he sees.

Figures from Last Night of Freedom show that the city is currently the ninth most visited stag party location on Earth – while by mid-March, the firm had almost matched the total number of Amsterdam bookings it took for the whole of 2022.

“As a company that was our busiest ever year, and we expect demand for Amsterdam this year to comfortably outstrip 2022.

“So any idea that politicians can scare away stags and hens seems ridiculous.”


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