Amsterdam’s notorious Red Light District, that central section of seedy sex shops and cinemas, is set to clean up its act.
Job Cohen, the city’s Mayor, announced on Monday that Amsterdam will soon begin requiring all red-light merchants and services to go “legit.” Since the trade’s legalization in 2000, the area has continued to be plagued with pimps and petty crime, along with unregulated prostitution.
The mayor’s new plan will enforce permits and inspections, and will require businesses to have official business telephone numbers and registered addresses.
The Associated Press reports that the city hopes to lure in luxury hotels, fashionable boutiques, squeaky-clean restaurants and other crowd-pleasers to the area. And what about the tourists who come to Amsterdam primarily to take in the city’s seedy side?
According to councilman Lodewijk Asscher, “We know that the tourists that come here now, the rowdy Britons, aren’t always the tourists that you’d like to have in the city,” he said.