Fed Up With Tourists, Amsterdam Gets Tough On Airbnb, Tourist Taxes And Too Much Partying


People celebrating King’s Day on the Amsterdam canals in April. Soon the partying will be over         Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

Many European cities are dealing with the challenge  of over-tourism, especially cultural centers like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and other major cities. Amsterdam faces particularly severe problems, due to its association with pot, prostitution and parties.

“Tourist numbers have risen stratospherically,” writes a tours expert who lives in the city in The Telegraph. “Parts of Amsterdam are now so crowded – day in day out, in all seasons – that it is as if the city is constantly in the grip of an enormous festival. Pedestrians spill from narrow pavements and walk in the middle of the street. Cycle lanes fill with riders who have not been on a bike since they were at school.”

One of the major aspects of this problem is Airbnb, which allows people to convert residential apartments into outlaw hotels – residential properties devoted entirely to the tourism market. This contributes to the opposition to tourism across the entire city, attaching tourism to the issue of rising rents and gentrification.

The city government is aware of this and increasingly cracking down on Airbnb and other aspects of the tourism industry to reduce its impact on the city.

This article by Forbes magazine (link) covers the issue in more detail.