Ryanair has hit back at an Amsterdam Marketing claim that “tourism is destroying cities”, dismissing it as “total nonsense” and “disrespectful to the tourists who come”.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair chief marketing officer, said: “The money these tourists spend makes up over 7% of the Dutch economy and supports one in 10 jobs in the Netherlands.”

The chief executive of Amsterdam Marketing, Frans van der Avert, told the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne last week: “A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors. We don’t spend even €1 in marketing Amsterdam anymore.”

Van der Avert singled out Ryanair and Airbnb for criticism, describing Ryanair passengers as “the loudest” and said: “We want people interested in the city, not who want a backdrop for a party.”

Jacobs hit back saying van der Avert’s argument shows “no respect for the nearly 14 million tourists who visit Amsterdam every year”.

In a response for Travel Weekly Europe, Jacobs writes: “Ryanair is big but we carry less than 1% of the tourists who visit Amsterdam, one of the smallest route networks in our operation.”

He suggests the Amsterdam Marketing chief’s approach would make tourism “the preserve of the wealthy”, arguing: “He would clearly like hotels and airfares to be more expensive so that everyday tourists cannot afford them.”

Rather than “show such disrespect to the tourists who come” by suggesting Amsterdam needs to “increase the quality” of visitors, Jacobs says: “The approach should be to diversify tourism to other parts of the country.”

He tells van der Avert: “Dutch consumers want more choice and lower fares, and the Dutch economy wants more tourists.”

See also: Opinion: ‘Amsterdam Marketing chief talking nonsense’