Fed up with tourists, Amsterdam becomes difficult with Airbnb, tourist taxes and too many parties

TO facilitate the number of visitors and slowing down Amsterdam’s “Disneyfication” – which expects 18 million tourists this year – the new city government has announced a series of sweeping measures designed to bring “balance to the city”.

Amsterdam, city of red lights and cannabis cafes, may soon end the partyIs the slogan used by the media.

The coalition of parties forming the city’s new government wants to follow the examples of Barcelona and Venice, where the influx of unruly tourists has made life extremely unpleasant for residents, forcing the authorities to try to control the number of visitors and their behavior. .

To ensure that “the city remains livable for all residents”, as promised by the Green Party (GroenLinks), the coalition agreed to ban Airbnb, the home sharing service, and other home rentals in busier neighborhoods, and cut their short-term rentals in half to a maximum of 30 days.

The city is also raising the tourist tax to 7%, which should bring the municipal treasury some 105 million euros per year by 2022.

Strict measures include plans to prevent cruise ships from docking at the central port, restrict navigation on the canals and crack down on ‘fun journeys’, including liquor boats, beer bikes and races. by Segway.

Passengers on boats taking a tour through the city’s canals will have to embark and disembark outside the center.

The effort to contain the massive waves of tourists that swarm the city most of the year reflects the displeasure of locals who feel the city’s old center has been overrun with messy, drunk and noisy visitors, many of whom will do. the party – drawn to the ease of buying marijuana and other soft drugs sold legally and also drawn to the famous sexual area known as the “red light district”.

“The number of tourists has grown stratospheric,” writes a tour expert who lives in the city in The Telegraph. “Areas of Amsterdam are now so crowded – day in and day out, in all seasons – that it is as if the city is constantly in the throes of a huge festival. Pedestrians overflow narrow sidewalks and walk in the middle of the street. Ride a bike. the lanes are filling up with cyclists who haven’t ridden a bike since they started school. “

“International tourism is one of them,” said GroenLink leader Rutger Groot Wassink. Netherlands timetables. “Because the obvious positive effects take a dark side in the nuisance caused by a decrease in habitability for the inhabitants.

“With a population of around 800,000 inhabitants, the city expects 18 million tourists in 2018, an increase of 20% over 2016 levels,” reports Business intern. “Anti-tourist and anti-expatriate sentiment has steadily grown in Amsterdam, as both are partly accused of helping to make house prices increasingly beyond the reach of ordinary Dutch people.”

The average purchase price of an apartment in Amsterdam in 2017 was € 407,000, 12% more than in 2016.

The new measures are expected to help change the type of tourism and redirect visitors from ‘pot and sex’ to the cultural hubs that have made the city famous, including its world-class museums which house some of the most famous works of art. most famous on the planet.

Advertising campaigns focused on the city’s canals, the Anne Frank House, museums with the greatest works of Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

The city has made rebranding efforts in the past, closing a third of its brothels and all marijuana cafes near schools.

In its zeal to better tame tourism, the government is also considering restricting the cars and buses that bring tourists in and out of the city. They will be excluded from the central area of ​​the city known as the Ring. “Tourist buses will be allowed to stop on the bus bridge behind Amsterdam Central Station”, the NL time Explain.

“In the city center, GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP (the coalition parties) wish to expand the management of the commercial supply. In addition to banning new tourist stores, they are also seeking to limit the number of branches of large retail chains.

In order to create quieter streets, parties will also reintroduce advertising taxes and ban billboards showing videos.

Amsterdam Marketing, the organization that promotes Amsterdam internationally, will be transformed into a knowledge center and will receive a new name.

Tourism has been a key issue behind the recent municipal election results which saw the main Liberal Democrat party overtaken by the Greens, whose main campaign theme was to reduce the tourist spillover and provide more housing to people. average incomes, a shortage which, in part, according to the party’s proposal, has been exacerbated by the wave of short-term rentals led by Airbnb.

“Amsterdam is a city to live and work in – it’s just a tourist destination second,” the city said.

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