Overrun red-light city dims down the fun
Amsterdam, city of red lights and cannabis cafes, may soon be pulling the plug on the party.
Following the examples of Barcelona and Venice, Amsterdam’s main political parties have announced radical measures to turn down the volume of tourism and reverse the “Disneyfication” of the city.
A coalition of four parties, negotiating to form the new city government, has issued a pledge of agreed reforms to provide “balance in the city”.
It will ban Airbnb short-term rentals in busy areas, divert cruise ships from docking in the centre and crack down on “fun rides” such as Segways, beer bikes and boozy boat trips.
The tourist tax will also rise from between 4 per cent and 6 per cent to a flat 7 per cent, raising €105 million (about $165 million) a year by 2022.
“We have to ensure that the city stays liveable for all residents,” Yvette Hofman, a spokeswoman for GroenLinks greenLeft party, said. “This is a subject that really matters to residents, who have felt under attack by increasing crowds, partly due to Airbnb and illegal hotels. They have complained that they no longer know their neighbours and of a tourist monoculture in the centre.”
The move come after city permits and turnstiles on busy streets in Venice, a ban on private rentals to tourists in Palma, Majorca, and a ban on new hotels in Barcelona.
A sunny day in Amsterdam.