We Cant Put A Fence Around Amsterdam: Dutch Capital Bans New Hotels To Curb Mass Tourism

The Dutch city is also limiting the number of overnight stays by tourists.


Amsterdam is banning the construction of new hotel buildings in its latest move to curb overtourism.

The Dutch city is also limiting the number of overnight stays by tourists.

"We want to make and keep the city liveable for residents and visitors,” the local government said in a statement.

“This means: no over-tourism, no new hotels, and no more than 20 million hotel overnight stays by tourists per year."

Authorities also announced a limit on river cruises as part of the bid to reduce visitor numbers.

Amsterdam bans construction of new hotels

Under the local council’s new rules, construction of a new hotel in Amsterdam will only be permitted if another structure closes.

The new property cannot increase the number of sleeping places and must prove it will be more beneficial to the city - such as being more sustainable.

New hotels that have already secured permits are exempt from the ban.

Amsterdam limits number of river cruises

Amsterdam’s authorities have also cut the number of riverboat cruises that enter the capital.

In 2023, around 2,300 vessels docked in the city. By 2028, the local government wants that figure reduced to 1,150.

This restriction would slash the number of tourists visiting Amsterdam by about 271,000, according to national news site Dutch News.

Cruises are particularly disruptive during the spring bulb season when some 1,000 of them anchor in Amsterdam, city finance chief Hester van Buren told Dutch News.

“I am not saying this is going to solve the problem of too many tourists,” Van Buren said during a presentation of the plan this week.

“But we are not going to divide tourists up into good and bad. This is one of a string of measures to reduce the number of tourists in total. It is about the overcrowding and the coaches parked all over the pavements.”

The measure expects to cut journeys by coach by 64,400 kilometres.

The new limits are part of an ongoing drive against overtourism in Amsterdam which has also seen its tourist tax hiked, marijuana banned in the red light district and tours of sex workers’ windows prohibited.

Overtourism is a worldwide problem, and tourists don’t like it when places are so full either,” said Van Buren. “But we can’t simply put a fence around Amsterdam.”


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