The blog

Virgin eyes for the customer journey

As a local, you’ve probably accepted the obstacles, when you're roaming around the city. You know how to circumvent the traps. And you have a lot of tools, so the gaps in the journey don’t bother you. To a visitor, a stranger in the city, every encounter is a first. He’s never seen a Pin machine, a OV Chip Kaart check-in pole, a Dutch Public Transport schedule. And that’s just the first twenty minutes in the country.

We took a long look, with virgin-eyes, and managed to make a visitor’s journey full circle: with connectivity, bringing beautiful museum and restaurant content, and enabling a smart and enriching experience. A great offering for tourists in cities, that’s easy and pleasant.



Remember your first time in a new city

Everyone we spoke to, as well as a lot of travel experts are convinced that the seamless trip is upon us. From consumers to our partners, they actively want to participate. Now the challenge is how it will materialize.

Mend the Gap

It’s all about timing, right? We think so and took some time, the quiet days between Xmas and New Year’s, to look back at the year we lived with you.

Our goal for 2015 was to make a dent in the experience of city trippers. A positive impact that is. We know that a trip in unknown territory is filled with tourist traps. You may have heard the famous warning at London’s Underground stations: “Mind the gap”. It features on a range of souvenirs, from t-shirts to mugs. And might actually prevent some serious injuries. We, rather than accept the consequences of inadequate design, set out to “Mend the gap”.



City travel is full of Tourist Traps

As a local, you’ve probably accepted the obstacles. You know how to circumvent the traps. And you have a lot of tools, so the gaps don’t bother you. To a visitor, a stranger in the city, every encounter is a first. He’s never seen a Pin machine, a OV Chip Kaart check-in pole, a Dutch Public Transport schedule. And that’s just the first twenty minutes in the country.


We took a long look, with virgin-eyes, and managed to make a visitor’s journey full circle: with connectivity, bringing beautiful museum and restaurant content, and enabling a smart and enriching experience. A great offering for tourists in cities, that’s easy and pleasant.


Everyone we spoke to, as well as a lot of travel experts are convinced that the seamless trip is upon us. From consumers to our partners, they actively want to participate. Now the challenge is how it will materialize.

Tourism: the Press and the Perspective

Our nation's largest newspaper by circulation will soon run out of synonyms for the impact of tourists on the Dutch capital. A characteristically subtle headline, Holland is getting Stuffed, precedes a 100-word article, that including some of our favorite words. Inundated, busy, full-on, a massive open air museum, masses of tourists, growing numbers of Chinese, chockfull as well as our favorite: hordes of tourists.

At weCity we think we could distinguish a slightly different situation. We don't hear a lot of folks in the Big Apple complain about the $40B tourism brings into their island. The ratio of Amsterdam's inhabitant-to-tourists-in town is similar to Manhattan. Amsterdam's hotels hosted 11 million nights and Manhattan 30 million. Our capital has 800k inhabitants and Manhattan stands at three times that: 2,5M.

We all know that tourism creates a city that's rich and varied, a testament of which is the highest ratio of restaurants per inhabitant: 14 per 10,000. So, of course we're talking to the Municipality about all the opportunities tourism offers and the digital solutions we think we have found for some of the most pressing challenges.

But let's put it all in yet another perspective…. This website shows that agglomeration of Amsterdam is not that different from other tourist cities. We can't get enough of looking at Paris. But it's interesting to see that the City of Lights Intra Muros, so within the Péripherique, is pretty much the same size as Amsterdam within the A10 Ring…

Do we ever hear anyone claim Paris is turning into a Venice? Paris receives some 32 Million international visitors, against Amsterdam's 7. Actually Paris has already received 8 million visitors this year, and counting.

So there might just be some room. If only every tourist would have an iPhone….

Stringing the pearls

"Tourism is a combined product, a chain of suppliers and experiences. By joining forces we could seize significant opportunities. We currently have neither any common management nor coordination on the themes where we could add value to a visit to the Netherlands. To improve the experience, the suppliers need sufficient room to invest in both innovation and quality of the touristic product."

Jos Vranken, general manager NBTC Holland Marketing in "Destination Holland 2025"