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Selfie lovers spell havoc for Dutch tulip farmers

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IANS The Hague
Dutch horticulturists are fed up with tourists trampling on rows of brightly coloured tulips for taking selfies and have put up warning signs and employed hoards of volunteers to put an end to the wreckage.
Thousands of foreigners flock to Holland in March, April and May to take in the vast expanse of brightly hued tulips, which throughout the Spring create breathtaking landscapes, reported Efe news.
But the disregard for the blooms could cause a loss of some 100,000 euros to each bulb grower.
"Of course, we are pleased with the attention and the visits. It gives us a lot of publicity. But they must respect our efforts and let us enjoy the results," said Simon Pennings, Bollenstreek tulip producer in western Holland.
Pennings launched a national campaign by placing signs in English and Chinese by the tulip fields asking tourists to respect the industry. Signs read: "Enjoy the flowers, respect our pride," or "Please do not enter the flower fields."
The Keukenhof flower garden, also known as the Garden of Europe, spans some 32 hectares in Hillegom and Lisse and roughly 7 million bulbs are planted there every year. It is half-an-hour away from Amsterdam, the tourist mecca of Holland.
Signboards and signages have been placed at the entry points to each field. The initiative has been backed by local organisations and Flower Science, a national network of bulb growers.
According to Penning, the tourist behaviour is getting worse every year. At times, up to 300 people could be seen walking through a field, he added.
The tulip season, which lasts around 8 weeks, sees 1,300 seasonal workers take to the blooming fields to tend the bulbs.
--IANS
pg/pcj

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First Published: Mar 28 2019 | 6:50 PM IST

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