European cities like Amsterdam look to show red light to rowdy ...


European cities like Amsterdam look to show red light to rowdy tourists

Prague, Amsterdam and Barcelona see tourism silver lining in Covid lockdowns

Paul Tullis

On a warm Friday night in July, the sun seemed to linger behind Amsterdam’s low, 16th-century skyline. In the red light district, the crush of tourists that was common before the pandemic had long since vanished, making it easy for a delivery worker to cycle past a handful of gawkers around the old town’s notorious storefronts.

While six German men in matching T-shirts ignored signs warning of a €95 fine as they swilled beers on a nearby footbridge, they were the exception. Mostly, only small groups of sedate strollers were about on this midsummer evening.

Centuries before its more lurid attractions took hold, Amsterdam was already a tourist draw. As far back as 1345, when a communion wafer at a local church apparently proved indestructible, pilgrims flocked to see the miracle host. In modern times, decidedly less spiritual activities have drawn millions to the city’s quaint, canal-lined quarters. And the noise, rubbish and violence followed...

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