The usually-tolerant city has had it up to its canals with obnoxious tourists ruining it for all the cool people and is taking measures to limit tourism and what officials call “nuisance travelers.
Specifically, it is targeting “nuisance” bachelor parties and organized pub crawls, limiting the number of river cruises, focusing on a multi-core city model and the conversion of hotels for residential or office use, earlier closing times for bars, clubs and window prostitution in the Red Light District and a ban on smoking cannabis in certain parts of the city centre.
An image campaign reflecting this vision will be launched in the spring and the measures will be submitted to the municipal council for approval in December.
“If we love the city, we have to act now,” said Deputy Mayor Sofyan Mbarki, who is responsible for Economic Affairs and Inner City Affairs). Much has been done in recent years, but we need to do even more in the coming years.
“In recent months, I have talked to many different groups: residents, businesses, experts and interest groups. From these discussions, it has become clear that everyone cares about the city and that intervention is needed to counter the nuisance and overcrowding. If we want effective and forward-looking cooperation, both a long-term vision and appropriate measures are needed.
“Amsterdam is a metropolis and that means a lively and bustling city, but to keep our city liveable, we now have to opt for limits instead of irresponsible growth.”
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Some of the measures include:
- The development of scenarios to limit river cruises, combined with research regarding stricter policy on sea cruise ships, the implementation of the coach policy, and lobbying regarding aviation tax and budget flights.
- The tightening of opening hours for bars, clubs and window prostitution in the Red Light District during weekend nights (at the explicit request of residents): a closing time of 02.00 for bars and clubs will apply, with no new visitors admitted after 01.00. For sex work businesses, a new closing time of 03.00 will be proposed (currently 06.00).
- Measures to tackle nuisance bachelor parties and an investigation regarding the expansion of the ban on guided tours and ban on hosting organised pub crawls.
- A ban on smoking cannabis in certain parts of the city centre, linked to the existing alcohol ban.
- The launch of a campaign early next year aimed at actively discouraging international visitors with plans to ‘go wild’ in Amsterdam.
- The distribution of the offering for tourists by developing leisure facilities in areas including Noord, Zuidoost, and Nieuw-West, and the relocation of leisure facilities from the city centre.
- A focus on the conversion of hotels for residential or office use, more extended stays (stay from 1 month to 6 months) and the amalgamation of hotel rooms.
- A pilot regarding restrictions on the embarkation and disembarkation points of party boats in the Red Light District area.
- The investigation of a further tightening of policy for holiday rentals and B&Bs.
- The development of scenarios for the effective implementation of tourist tax and the exploration of options to extend the Entertainment Tax (VMR).
The point here is Amsterdam welcomes well-behaved visitors, not out-of-control revelers.