HomeTravelAmsterdam bans new hotels and puts limit on overnight tourists

Amsterdam bans new hotels and puts limit on overnight tourists


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Amsterdam continues to crack down on overtourism by prohibiting the development of new hotels and limiting the number of travelers allowed to stay overnight in the city. 

“We want to make and keep the city livable for residents and visitors,” the Netherlands city said in an announcement last week. 

Amsterdam has had strict policies for new hotels since 2017, but the new initiative seeks to “ensure that the number of hotel stays does not increase even further,” according to the announcement.

Under the new regulation, a new hotel may only be built “under certain conditions, if a hotel closes elsewhere,” the city said. This way, the number of accomodations in the city will stay stagnant. The hotel must also “be better,” like being more sustainable. 

Traveling to Europe soon? Barcelona is another popular European city increasing its tourist tax to battle overtourism

Twenty-six previously approved hotel projects will proceed with their construction as planned, according to the announcement. New hotels are being encouraged to be built outside the city center. 

Along with the hotel ban, the city is also limiting the number of overnight stays to 20 million for the year. 

The limit comes after residents complained of the effects of the high number of tourists. In 2023, the city experienced 20,665,000 overnight stays in hotels alone, not reflecting holiday rentals, bed and breakfasts and cruise nights. 

The regulation is the latest in a string of moves by the popular European destination to address rowdy visitors and mass tourism. This year, the city’s tourist tax increased from 7% to 12.5% – the highest in Europe. The city also banned guided tours through its famous Red Light District in 2019.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@usatoday.com.

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