Traditional guest rooms taken in anti-tourist nuisance measures

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Traditional bed and breakfast owners believe they are being unfairly targeted by Amsterdam‘s tourist nuisance measures – saying there is little evidence they are to blame.

At an annual general meeting of Amsterdam Gastronomy amateur hospitality association, chairman Maarten Bruinsma said people are unlikely to welcome unwelcome guests into their family homes.

“The 90% overcrowding caused by hotels is put on our plate,” he said. “The red line in all the rules is that they don’t cost the board a lot. It’s expensive to buy a hotel when they can just tell us: “You can’t do that anymore.

The body, which essentially represents 2,700 traditional bed and breakfasts, says private accommodation (including vacation rentals) accounts for a small proportion of tourist nights. A 2019 report commissioned by Airbnb and conducted by SEO Amsterdam Economics, claimed that “vacation rentals” accounted for up to 7% of tourist overnight stays.

‘Stay away’

However, in November, the city’s head of economy, Sofyan Mbarki announcement a series of measures to reduce tourist nuisance, including a ‘stay away’ campaign and ‘strengthened’ regulations on holiday rentals, while asking hotels to convert into homes.

Netherlands Statistics Office SCS reported that overnight tourism, including hotel stays, returned to high levels close to 2019 last year. Meanwhile, the director of marketing body the city of Amsterdam & Partners, Geerte Udo, said Airbnb-style vacation rentals have been ‘harmful‘ in Amsterdam.

But traditional bed and breakfast the owners – who have a limited number of licenses and can operate year-round if the owner is present – fear their businesses will suffer unfairly from the housing and tourism crackdown.

“There is a climbing ladder and we are at the top, with more prohibited districts and more bed and breakfast quotas,” Bruinsma said.

water bed

Stephen Hodes, tourism expert and anti-nuisance campaigner, said the city’s regulations had not worked as expected. “A lot of the rules have had a waterbed effect – you shut down hotels, and the effect is more hotels in Hoofddorp, Haarlemmermeer and Zaandam. Everyone is sent to the city borders, and all the money goes to the other municipalities, but the nuisance comes to Amsterdam. You do not have to stay in Amstelveen and Hoofddorp!’

He said plans to extend tourists to less traveled paths were also doomed. “The municipality has no idea what tourists think: they think their behavior is rational but they are like cattle. A maximum of 10% go off the beaten track. The municipality runs after minor policies, but the cause is Schiphol! »

He added that there was no evidence that traditional bed and breakfasts were a focus for nuisance guests. ‘You have control of what happens in your home and your guests aren’t annoying guests, but they come down hard on you,” he said.

What does a quality tourist look like?

B&B owners at the event pointed out that their guests ask them to recommend “local gems” so they can draw people away from the usual tourist attractions, while pricing their homes in order to avoid problematic visitors.

Amsterdam Gastvrij also represents people who rent out their homes for up to 30 nights while they are away and has raised the issue of punitive fines for small administrative errors with the vacation rental. Following the advice of Amsterdam Ombudsmanthe city has a New policy restrict first fines to €3,000, but the limit does not apply to all penalties and costly legal battles are expected from February.

Dutch News has asked the Municipality of Amsterdam for a response to the concerns.

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