When foreigners come to the Netherlands for the first time, they want to see icons of the country. Famous icons like,


Clogs and how to make them by a Dutch young boy in a traditional custom....

....or a Dutch girl with a touch of traditionality.......

When millions of people want to do it then this need should be accomodated in an organized way. The Dutch know how to this. They lead the tourists to flow to Zaanse Schaan, a village about 20 kilometer outside Amsterdam, just 20 minutes by car without traffic jam. In this village, the tourists can see most of Dutch icons in one go: windmills, clogs making, cheese making by girls in traditional dresses, taking a short boat trip along canals, visiting museums, tasting the Dutch pancakes and don't forget, buying souvenirs, from diamonds to keyrings. There is one more specific about Zaanse Schaan, the tourists will smell chocolate all over the place (except inside the windmills and other buildings) because a chocolate factory is close to the village.

Buses by buses 'invade' this village especially in summer. But this village is practically open all seasons the whole year around as the man who operated the boat told me.

The tourists do not need to buy tickets. The only thing they pay is parking fee if they come by cars or buses. This is a smart approach in my opinion. It shows hospitality but also practically attract a lot of visitors and they will somehow spend money anyway, an indirect way to generate income for the village.

Massa tourism? Touristic? It is not for a tourist who look for something deeper. It is for a tourist who want to have a taste of Dutch icons in few hours. Wrong? Who are we to judge that massa tourism is wrong? There is a demand, there is a supply. It is not a place to discuss authenticity, it is a practical reason to welcome guests who come from all over the world and they don't bother about authenticity. Not everyone can afford authenticity.


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