A tiny town known as Kinderdijk in the Netherlands with a population of only sixty has to somehow manage a yearly number of 600,000 visitors. Citizens would now like a cap on the number of visitors as it’s become rather difficult to manage everyone.
One reason there are so many people even going to Kinderdijk is that it’s a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site. This means that it has got some form of cultural, historical or scientific importance. In this case, it’s the windmills. The town has nineteen of them, all of which are working quite well, especially considering they were built in the mid-18th century.
The issue that some residents like Anja Noorlander have with the tourists is that there seems to be a lack of awareness. According to CBC, she said that the visitors have been found going into the citizens’ gardens, and in some cases have even gone in the mills, this is a place where people live. However, this is likely the case because of the misconception that the citizens are simply actors in the location.
Noorlander also believes that there needs to be a limit since there are simply so many people that want to visit the heritage site. Her reasoning behind this is that there’s clear evidence of a large number of people limiting the lives of those who actually do live there.
If someone is always worrying about their stuff being stolen or their home being walked through, it’s going to cause stress and distrust. Having a cap on the visitors could allow for the residents to live their lives normally since they know there’s only so many people at the location in a given time frame, this means that they don’t need to worry as much.
In the past, there was a limit of four-hundred thousand set, but it seems to have fallen through the cracks in the floor since there have been even more tourists popping up.
The main issue seems to be that the tourists are interfering with people’s lives by treating them, indirectly, like an actor. So, a simple solution would be to educate and inform those visitors that these are legitimate people that have lives they need to live. This message might ensure that more people respect the locals since they’ll be aware that they’re citizens and not actors.
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