Amsterdam Imposes Ban on New Hotels and Limits Overnight Tourists to Combat Overtourism

Amsterdam is taking steps to combat overtourism by halting the development of new hotels and restricting the number of visitors permitted to stay overnight in the city. The city aims to maintain a livable environment for both residents and tourists, according to a recent announcement.

The city has enforced strict rules for new hotels since 2017, but this new initiative aims to prevent the number of hotel stays from rising further. Under the new rules, a new hotel can only be built if another hotel closes elsewhere in the city, and under certain conditions. This will ensure the total number of accommodations in the city remains unchanged. Additionally, any new hotel must be more sustainable.

Despite these restrictions, 26 previously approved hotel projects will continue as planned. However, new hotels are being urged to locate outside the city center. Alongside the ban on new hotels, Amsterdam is also capping the number of overnight stays at 20 million per year.

This decision follows complaints from residents about the impact of high tourist numbers. In 2023, there were over 20 million overnight stays in hotels alone, not including holiday rentals, bed and breakfasts, and cruise nights.

This is the latest measure by Amsterdam to manage mass tourism and unruly visitors. Earlier this year, the city’s tourist tax was increased from 7% to 12.5%, the highest in Europe. Guided tours through its famous Red Light District were also banned in 2019.

In other news, Barcelona is another popular European city that is increasing its tourist tax to tackle overtourism.


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