5-speed listening (Tourism - Level 5)

Dutch towns tell tourists how to behave






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Being a tourist and wandering around the sites of old villages is great, but is it such a thrill for the locals? Villagers living in the area of 'Old Holland' near Amsterdam have had enough of visitors and tour guides with megaphones disturbing their peace. They have teamed up with tour companies to create rules of conduct for tourists. These include not photographing residents without asking, not going into their gardens and not dropping litter. The rules are an attempt to deal with the growing popularity of the area. Tourism is booming and will rise by 50 per cent in the next decade.

Old Holland is idyllic and matches our image of Holland from a past age. There are many windmills and locals live in traditional wooden houses. A local resident told Holland's Het Parool newspaper that the village of Zaanse Schans is like an open-air museum. He said: "One resident…opened his curtains in the morning and looked into the camera lenses of nine amateur photographers." He added: "The visitors seem happy to knock on the wooden houses to see if it is real wood. If you are the resident of that house, that is not pleasant." Tour buses were the biggest nuisance.

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