The last florist at Amsterdam’s floating flower market, the Bloemenmarkt, is shutting shop, blaming large groups of tourists for crowding out his customers and the changing nature of the historical city centre.
Michael Saarloos, whose family began selling flowers at the market on the Singel canal in 1943, said he was being drowned out by cheap stalls and tourism.
The Bloemenmarkt, founded in 1862, is promoted by the Dutch tourist board as a world-famous attraction within the Unesco-listed canal ring.
Saarloos said he was leaving because tourists hovering around his stall taking pictures made it difficult to serve genuine clients. The 16 stalls at the floating market are now dominated by vendors selling clogs, magnets, young cannabis plants, wooden and plastic tulips and bulbs.
“I have had enough of all the tourists who ruin my trade,” Saarloos told the Dutch newspaper De Trouw. “If they are here with a group, I can no longer