Airbnb says home-sharing ban in Amsterdam’s Old Town is ‘harmful’

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Airbnb on Friday accused the city of Amsterdam of acting illegally after it banned vacation rentals in its central old town, but said it wanted to work with authorities to ensure its space-sharing business survives. housing in the Dutch capital.

The municipality announced on Thursday that it would ban all vacation rentals in three areas that make up Amsterdam’s central canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In other areas of the Dutch capital, vacation rentals will only be allowed with a special permit, and only for up to 30 days a year, for groups of up to four people.

Airbnb Netherlands said on Friday it was “deeply concerned that the proposals are illegal and violate the fundamental rights of local residents.”

“We remain eager to work with Amsterdam to support long-term solutions on home sharing – rather than short-term solutions that are confusing and damaging to residents and small businesses,” the company said.

Critics have long complained that the rise of Airbnb-style tourist rentals has ripped the soul out of the center of Europe’s best-loved tourist towns, from Edinburgh to Barcelona.

Airbnb said 95% of its listings in Amsterdam were outside the no-go zone.

Amsterdam’s left-wing city council has spoken out against mass tourism and what it describes as tourist nuisance in the old city centre.

The city says that one in 15 accommodations in Amsterdam as a whole appear on online rental platforms and that the increase in these rentals has “a growing negative influence on the quality of life” in certain neighborhoods of Amsterdam.

Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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