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Partying tourist in search of XTC


Dutch version

Amsterdam 6 november 2018 – XTC is a hot topic amongst foreign tourists in Amsterdam. Through search engine Google alone, there are over 29.000 searches a year on the combination of the words XTC and Amsterdam. During the Amsterdam Dance Event this number increased with 40%.

Major increase in online searches during Amsterdam Dance Event

During a period of 289 days ThingstodoinAmsterdam looked at the online search behavior of foreign tourists in Amsterdam. They found an average of eighty online searches a day on the the words XTC and Amsterdam (23.134 separate searches).

During the Amsterdam Dance Event, the biggest festival on electronic music in the world, search behaviour on this particular combination of words went up dramatically. In six days, in which 400.000 people celebrated ADE in the capital of the Netherlands, there were almost 700 searches on these particular terms.

Rehab facility Jellinek opened several service points during ADE where XTC could be tested anonymously. “Our service points were only visited by a few foreign users”, the spokesperson of Jellinek explains. Possibly not many tourists know their pill can be tested without further consequences.

Doubts on legal status of XTC

Tourists are confused when it comes to whether or not XTC is legal in the Netherlands (spoiler alert: it is not). This is illustrated by the number of searches in which the term Legal was added. During the Amsterdam Dance Event the percentage of online searches containing the word Legal, went up with 60%.

Top five search queries related to the legal status of the drug;

  1. is mdma legal in amsterdam
  2. is ecstacy legal in amsterdam
  3. is ecstasy legal in amsterdam
  4. ecstasy legal in amsterdam
  5. mdma amsterdam legal

Seekers want to score

According to ThingstodoinAmsterdam, information on the drug is not the only thing foreign tourists are looking for. The research also showed a strong growth (38%) in the online search behaviour of the word combination Amsterdam, XTC and Buy during ADE. Most searches on these words from outside the Netherlands came from Britain, America and Germany.

Top five purchase-oriented search queries;

  1. xtc shop amsterdam
  2. where to buy mdma in amsterdam
  3. buying mdma in amsterdam
  4. where to buy ecstasy in amsterdam
  5. ecstasy shop amsterdam

Better safe than sorry

ThingstodoinAmsterdam is worried about the fact that foreign visitors do not seem to use the available testservice. “We don’t want to stimulate XTC use in any way, but we will not close our eyes for what’s real. If tourists make the decision to take XTC, we rather have them well informed about using it safely. By giving advice, we want to reduce the risk for tourists”.

Lot’s of interest from the United Kingdom

Although there’s a lot of interest in Dutch pills and powders from all over the world, the United Kingdom stands out for the number of searches. In absolute numbers, most searches related to XTC and Amsterdam came from the United States. However, taking into account the total number of inhabitants, the UK seems to be overrepresented.

The top 10 most interested countries are as follows;

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. Australia
  5. France
  6. Ireland
  7. India
  8. Italy
  9. Sweden
  10. Norway

* The Netherlands ranked third in this list. However, these English searches were most likely conducted by visitors that were already in The Netherlands, thus we removed it from the list.

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