Amsterdam bans almost all new hotels – all you need to know

by Alice

Amsterdam has introduced stringent measures to address overtourism, including a ban on the construction of nearly all new hotels and limitations on the number of tourists allowed to stay overnight each year.

Under the new regulations, Amsterdam will not permit the construction of new hotels unless an existing one closes elsewhere. Furthermore, any new hotels approved must demonstrate modernity or sustainability, and developers are encouraged to consider locations outside the city center.


However, projects that have already received permits are exempt from this rule.


Moreover, the city has set a cap of 20 million overnight stays for tourists annually, representing a reduction of 665,000 stays compared to the total in 2023 (excluding holiday rentals, bed and breakfasts, or cruises). This move is aimed at ensuring the city remains livable for both residents and visitors, with a focus on mitigating overtourism.


In addition to these measures, Amsterdam has increased its tourist tax to 12.5% for travelers staying overnight or arriving via cruise ships. This tax hike is part of the city’s broader efforts to manage tourism and its impact on local infrastructure and quality of life.

Amsterdam’s initiative reflects a global trend among tourist destinations grappling with overtourism. For instance, Venice is implementing fees for day trippers and considering limits on tour group sizes, while Iceland plans to introduce a tourist tax to support environmental and sustainability initiatives. Athens has experimented with pilot programs to control visitor numbers at popular sites like the Acropolis.

Similar measures have been taken outside of Europe as well. In Kyoto, Japan, non-residents have been banned from certain private alleys in the geisha district to address overcrowding and misconduct by tourists. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s governor has proposed a $25 fee for tourists upon hotel or short-term rental check-in, with the revenue earmarked for beach preservation and wildfire prevention efforts. These actions underscore a growing recognition of the need to balance tourism with the preservation of cultural heritage, environmental sustainability, and local residents’ well-being.



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