Ecoclub Headlines

tourism policy & politics, sustainability, conservation, tourism worker rights, indigenous rights, green transport, migration and more

Netherlands: Amsterdam bans new hotels

Added 2024-04-22


While many cities experiencing overcrowding/overvisitation only focus on short-term holiday lettings, Amsterdam has now sensibly included hotels in its attempt to curb visitor numbers. Led by Mayor Femke Halsema since 2018, former leader of green-left party Groenlinks, the city has set an annual cap of 20 million hotel overnight stays (or 665,000 less than the 2023 record) while no new hotel permit will be issued unless an old hotel of equal size closes. How this may work in practice and if it the ban is compatible with EU laws is unclear. But the tourism philosophy of the current municipal authority can be summed up as "(well-behaving) tourists are welcome but residents take priority". Maybe this will prove an inspiration for other touristy cities. As recreational cannabis use is being steadily legalized/decriminalized in other European cities and countries it clearly takes the pressure from Amsterdam, but the infamous Amsterdam Red Light district remains a draw and has been on the radar of the municipal authority, with plans to move/disperse it in the suburbs. The three red Xs in Amsterdam's logo are taking a new meaning (No, nope, don't).