Amsterdam Implements Stricter Measures to Combat Overtourism

by Alice

Amsterdam has taken significant steps to address the challenges posed by overtourism, announcing a ban on the construction of nearly all new hotels and imposing limitations on the number of overnight stays permitted for tourists.

In a move aimed at preserving the livability of the city for both residents and visitors, the Amsterdam city government has declared a moratorium on the development of new hotels, unless an existing hotel elsewhere shuts down. Furthermore, any new hotel ventures are required to demonstrate modern or sustainable features, with developers strongly encouraged to explore locations outside the city center.


However, it’s important to note that this restriction does not affect hotel projects that have already obtained permits, offering a degree of continuity for ongoing developments.


Under the new regulations, Amsterdam will cap the total number of overnight stays for tourists at 20 million annually, representing a reduction of 665,000 compared to the total hotel nights recorded in 2023. This stringent measure underscores the city’s commitment to mitigating overtourism and maintaining a balance between tourism influx and local infrastructure.


“We want to make and maintain Amsterdam as a livable destination for both residents and visitors alike,” stated the local authority. “This entails addressing the challenges of overtourism by limiting the expansion of hotel accommodations and imposing a cap on tourist overnight stays.”

In conjunction with these measures, Amsterdam has also raised its tourist tax to 12.5%, applicable to both overnight stays and visits via cruise ships. This move is part of broader efforts to manage tourist numbers and alleviate the strain on local resources and infrastructure.

Amsterdam’s proactive stance against overtourism aligns with similar initiatives undertaken by cities worldwide. Venice, Italy, for instance, is introducing fees for day trippers and exploring limits on tour group sizes, while Iceland plans to implement a tourist tax to support environmental and sustainability objectives. Likewise, Athens, Greece, conducted a trial last summer, restricting daily visitors to the iconic Acropolis to manage overcrowding.

Beyond Europe, other destinations are also taking decisive actions. Kyoto, Japan, has prohibited non-residents from certain private alleys in its geisha district to address overcrowding and visitor misconduct. Meanwhile, in the United States, Hawaii’s governor has proposed a $25 fee for arriving tourists checking into hotels or short-term rentals, with proceeds earmarked for beach preservation and fire prevention measures.

Amsterdam’s measures signify a concerted effort to strike a balance between tourism promotion and sustainable urban development, reflecting a growing global awareness of the need for responsible tourism management in popular destinations.



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