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Pretty European city that’s banning three things to curb crippling overtourism



Amsterdam has banned the construction of new hotels in its battle against overtourism.

Perhaps even more radically, officials in the Dutch capital are also capping the total number of tourists a year allowed to stay in hotels overnight.

The local Amsterdam government said in a statement: “We want to make and keep the city liveable for residents and visitors.

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

Another step announced by the authorities was a limit on river cruises, as part of a bid to curb tourist numbers.

The new hotel rules will only permit the construction of a new building if another one shuts.

What’s more, any new hotels can not increase the number of available rooms in the city and must demonstrate its benefit to the city.

However, new hotels that have already received construction permits are exempt from the ban.

River cruises are also earmarked to be cut. Last year approximately 2,300 boats docked in Amsterdam. But by 2028, the local government wants that brought down to 1,150.

According to Dutch News, the move would slash the number of tourists visiting Amsterdam by around 271,000.

According to city finance chief Hester van Buren, vessels docking in the city during the spring bulb season are the most disruptive with around 1000 anchoring during that period.

He said during a presentation of the plan: “I am not saying this is going to solve the problem of too many tourists.

“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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