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Artists to draw tourists to Oud-West

4 April 2007 - The artists at the WG terrain are to draw more tourists to Oud-West. Tourism can make citizens proud of their neighbourhood, according to a plan the district presented today.

According to the district, the former Wilhelmina Gasthuis (WG) hospital near the Vondelpark is one of Europe’s largest artist communities. In the future, tourists must be offered the opportunity to visit artists for a cup of tea. Also, maps of the terrain must be put up at the entrance gates.

The district’s artistic attractiveness must further be enhanced by exhibiting art in the windows of vacant shops. This idea has been inspired by the shop window project in the Bellamy neighbourhood.

In addition to art, the district also wants to use buildings that refer to the industrial and craft history, such as the Tetterode Type-Foundry, the former wood mill and the former tram depot at the Bellamyplein, which is to be transformed into the De Hallen entertainment centre.

An audio tour should make these places interesting for visitors.

Oud-West sees tourism as a source of income and jobs, but also hopes it will contribute to residents feeling proud of the neighbourhood in which they live. Consultancy LAgroup has studied the opportunities for developing tourism in Oud-West.

According to LAgroup, Oud-West has little to offer to mass tourism from the USA, Japan and China. However, it does see opportunities to attract ‘repeat visitors who want to get to know the authentic, non-tourist Amsterdam’.

District alderman Werner Toonk: “What we definitely do not want is to create a second Damrak, with obtrusive advertising on the facades and hordes of loud people”.

Incidentally, LAgroup points out that there is increasing competition from other districts, which also focus on tourism. Three years ago, the Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board argued for the districts to be developed for tourism.

The residents will be invited to comment on the plans on 7 May. See also: Bellamyplein ‘of Dickensian ugliness’, tourism in the districts

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