Texel is getting ready for the summer season. To spread tourists on the island, something clever has been devised.
Forget Bali, Bordeaux or Benidorm this year, it will probably be a holiday for most Dutch people in their own country. Maybe you will go to Texel, which has been a popular holiday destination for decades.
Texel Tourist Information
Where the island was a European gathering place for young democrats during the international Democracy Festival last April, where Metro took a look, it has been very quiet for the past two months. An understatement. Hotel occupancy was two to six percent, many holiday parks were closed and the island seemed to be extinct, something Frank Spooren, director of VVV Texel, also noticed when he was strolling through the streets on the island, even in the shopping street in Den Burg. Usually one of the highlights of the island, “where there is always something vibrant”, now it was quiet. Dead silent. “It just made me feel spooky.”
Crazy house, he describes his work. Not because of the crowds, because there was no one, but recently the island has been characterized by cancellations that it must have the largest part (80 percent) of tourism. “Colleagues opened their inbox in the morning with 1,500 unread cancellation emails, and that was still the case at night. It simply could not be worked against, it has been really intense here. ”
But there is hope again on the Texel horizon, because with June 1, the easing measures in sight and therefore Texels Schuumkoppe on the terrace, the island is preparing for the summer season. There is plenty of space on the island that is the size of Amsterdam in area and has “an absolute peak” 65,000 inhabitants on the island. “If you calculate that, you have more than half a football field per person.” However, a number of tourist hotspots can “lead to an infarct of people.”
That is why initiator VVV Texel is launching the free “TexelMap” app within the framework of the municipality’s “Masterplan 1, 5 meter economy”. A GDPR proof system that manages capacity in popular locations and proactively applies controlled distribution across the island. “In this way we want to prevent people from accidentally arriving at the same locations at the same time.”
Cleverly thought of by the VVV director, who calls it a contribution to a ‘Safe, Responsible Stay’. And with a big grin that can be heard on the phone: “So VVV, that’s fantastic, isn’t it ?!”
When we do it, we do it all, is the island mentality, something he also notices now with the app. “We approach all parties that are represented on the island, such as Staatsbosbeheer, KHN and Natuurmonumenten, but also supermarket entrepreneurs and museums. Many want to participate. ”
The basis is there and the “feel and look of the app is beautiful”, but, the native Brabant says honestly, “there is still a lot of work to be done.” For example, the public transport is still being connected, the shopping streets must be given a place and they are busy with the beach pavilions. Other entrepreneurs are also approached, for example, he is talking to a supermarket entrepreneur. “Of course, spreading is also necessary when shopping. And who knows, there may even be a special time slot for residents, so that they can shop without all the tourists. ” For example, Spooren, who may not be a born Texel, but who also has the “shoulders underneath” in his DNA, is full of ideas, “from now on we will experience how it all goes, learning by doing, you know.”
Or finally, the beaches also get a place in the app, with a view to Ostend where you can only bake in the sun when you reserve a spot? Beaches will definitely have a place, he concludes. “Not because they are bottlenecks, but they do belong in the app in order to make optimal use of peace and space on the island.”