AMSTERDAM is going to curb the number of multi-person beer bikes, canal booze cruises and Airbnbs to cut tourist numbers.
Political parties unveiled far-reaching plans yesterday to rein in tourism, because angry locals feel the city’s historic centre has been overrun.
Alamy Amsterdam is going to curb the number of multi-person beer bikes to cut tourist numbers
The leading Green-Left and other parties who are negotiating a new municipal government after March elections vowed to return “Balance to the City”, in a document of that name seen by Reuters.
It said: “The positive sides of tourism such as employment and city revenues are being more and more overshadowed by the negative consequences” including rubbish and noise pollution.
Changes the document outlines include reigning in “amusement transportation” such as multi-person “beer bikes” and cracking down on alcohol use in boats on the canals, as well as further restricting AirBnB and other home rentals.
They are also looking into a large tourist tax hike – which is already six per cent of the cost of a hotel room.
Alamy With a population of around 800,000, the city expects 18 million tourists in 2018 – an increase of 20 per cent from 2016
The plans include creating an inventory of all commercial beds in the city, to try to cap various sectors like cruise ships and hotels.
Bert Nap of neighbourhood organisation d’Oude Binnenstad, in the historic centre said: “I’m very happy that the city is now finally taking action, because residents have been asking for it for a very long time.
“What I’m worried about is that this package of measures is so drastic that there will be a lot of lawsuits and political resistance, which will cost a lot of time.”
He said the city was suffering from too many visitors in general, which had the effect of changing the character of the centre into one big tourist attraction.
Alamy Locals hate rowdy tourists getting drunk and disorderly while pedalling along they city’s famous canals
He added that some unruly, drunken tourists were making the city centre an unattractive place for local residents.
With a population of around 800,000, the city expects 18 million tourists in 2018 – an increase of 20 per cent from 2016.
Many of these are attracted by readily available soft drugs and the red light district.
Anti-tourist and anti-expat feelings have been steadily on the rise in Amsterdam, with both blamed in part for driving housing prices out of the reach of ordinary Dutch people.