Sunday 18 August 2019

Easter tulip tourism leads to closed roads and ‘overwhelmed’ locals

Photo: Keukenhof

Roads to the bulb and flower garden Keukenhof were completely congested over the Easter weekend, creating a situation in which people were asked to avoid the bulb region altogether.

In total, the Dutch tourist board said one million foreign tourists were expected to visit the Netherlands over the break, and 350,000 Dutch people went on day trips.

The Keukenhof clocked up some 200,000 visitors in four days’ time, two and a half times the number of last year’s Easter weekend.

‘For the people and entrepreneurs who live here the situation has become completely unacceptable,’ Keukenhof director Bart Siemerink told the Parool.

‘We cannot remember a year when so many people came to the park, Siemerink said. ‘Last year Easter came three weeks earlier and the temperatures were much lower. Easter is always busy with tourists but this weekend combined peak bloom period and fine weather.’

However, many tourists did not make it to the garden and parked along the roadside to take photographs of the bulb fields from a distance, the paper said.

The popularity of photographing tulips earlier prompted bulb grower WAM Pennings to call for banners, signs, barriers and volunteers to keep tourists off the fields.

The bulb fields were not the only only areas experiencing tourist overload at the weekend. Windmill heritage organisation SWEK had asked people not to come to the Kinderdijk mill district because parking had become virtually impossible and the influx of cars was causing accidents.

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