Selfie-Takers Are Killing the Netherlands’ Iconic Tulips

Apr 28, 2019

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Lately, selfie-takers determined to “do it for the ‘gram” have been going to outrageous measures to get the best shot. Now, farmers in the Netherlands are feeling the negative effects of this trend, causing them several thousand euros worth of damage to their tulip fields.

According to several tulip farmers in the Netherlands, young millennial travelers are flocking to the farmers’ fields in droves – which would not normally be a problem – except that over the past two years, tourists have been trampling the tulips and stunting growth. While this wasn’t always a problem for tulip farmers, now more and more people are wandering throughout the fields in order to get that perfect picture. Instagram and other social media platforms seem to be motivating the photo-takers, especially given how popular it is to post about travel extravaganzas.

One farmer, Simon Pennings, who has suffered 10,000 euros in damages to his tulip fields, is calling for an end to the unnecessary destruction. Following the grave financial cost the movement has caused, he told CNN that, “for me, that was the point where I said, ‘this has to be changed.'”

The tourist board and farmers alike in Netherlands are now utilizing countermeasures on social media to discourage this behavior, making potential visitors aware of how sensitive tulips are. Ambassadors of the campaign are posting pictures warning others from stepping on the tulip bulbs.

Unfortunately, the trend of flower-trampling is not a new event. As TPG reported just a few weeks ago, police forbade tourists from visiting the golden poppy wildflower bloom in Lake Elsinore, California, after many tourists had caused extensive damage to the field. The #PoppyNightmare response on Twitter and Instagram attempted to raise awareness about the disaster.

While we all know how strikingly beautiful these flamboyant fields of flowers are, be it tulips in the Netherlands or wild poppies in California, we caution travelers to always follow local rules and to respect the environment that they have traveled far and wide to see.

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