Published on : Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair hit out at Amsterdam tourism company Amsterdam Marketing after statements made by their CEO Frans van der Avert about budget airlines and house sharing destroying European cities, naming Ryanair and Airbnb in particular.
Speaking at the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, Amsterdam Marketing CEO Van der Avert said that European “cities are dying from tourism” and that “no one will be living in the historic centers anymore.” He added that Amsterdam’s plan is to no longer increase the number of visitors, but rather “increase the quality of visitors”. He said, “We want people who are interested in the city, not who want it as a backdrop for a party. We see lots of visitors with no respect for the character of the city. Low cost carriers create a problem. Ryanair – they are the loudest.”
In response, Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair said that Amsterdam Marketing is disrespecting the 14 million tourists who visit Amsterdam every year by saying that they are of low quality. He also pointed out that Ryanair only flies about 525 thousand people to Amsterdam every year, and half of those are Dutch.
However, Van der Avert sent out a written response saying that his statements at the World Tourism Forum were taken out of context. He added that Amsterdam Marketing knows that there is no stopping the increasing flow of visitors, as he said in his speech.
“This is due to growing prosperity, organizations like Airbnb and the low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair, making it easier and cheaper to book city trips (also for Amsterdammers). The connection between Ryanair and nuisance causing visitors was not made by me in my story.”