SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Millers living in the 19 windmills that make up the Kinderdijk mill village east of Rotterdam have had enough of mass tourism and are planning to let visitors know on Saturday exactly how they feel.
The millers will hand out postcards to tourists which state in English why they are angry, local broadcaster RTV Rijmond said. ‘Thank you for your visit. We’ve lived here for centuries.
We get 600,000 tourists a year and there are 60 of us. Ratio 10,000: 1 #overtourism’, the broadcaster quotes the postcard as stating. The millers feel that they are not being involved in decisions made about the community and that many people don’t realise they actually live in the mills, spokesman Peter Paul Klapwijk told RTV Rijmond.
‘This is a world heritage site, not Disneyland, and it should not be altered to meet the needs of tourism,’ he said. Last year for example, a new cruise boat started sailing past the mills and the opening times for the area were extended without informing the locals, the millers say.
Kinderdijk has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1997. The mills date from 1738 and were built to drain the water from Alblasserwaard polder (reclaimed land) which is at the junction of the Lek and Noord rivers.
Last year the millers called for a ban on drones in the area, arguing that on average a drone flies over their homes every three days. (DutchNews)