HomeTravelThis European city just banned new hotels to curb overtourism

This European city just banned new hotels to curb overtourism


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Amsterdam has tried everything from banning weed in the Red Light District to launching an online quiz to deter rowdy visitors, and in the latest bid to clamp down on overtourism, the Dutch capital has announced plans to reduce the number of tourists who stay overnight.

Amsterdam plans to carry out a twofold method that will see a ban on the construction of new hotels and a limit on the number of overnight stays by tourists every year.

For hotels, it’s a one in, one out system. Under these new rules, a new hotel will only be allowed to open if another closes, and any new hotels are not permitted to offer a higher number of beds than their predecessor. Developments that have already secured permits are exempt from the ban. 

‘We want to make and keep the city liveable for residents and visitors,’ said the local government in a statement, according to euronews. But hotels and the number of visitor stays aren’t the only thing being capped – the city approved a cruise ship ban last year and has plans to slash the number of riverboat cruises docking, too. 

In 2023 roughly 2,300 vessels docked in Amsterdam. The government wants to reduce that down to 1,150 by 2028, cutting the number of visitors by 271,000, according to Dutch News. City finance chief Hester van Buren says cruises are especially disruptive during the spring bulb season (late March to early May). 

‘This is one of a string of measures to reduce the number of tourists in total,’ she said, ‘It is about overcrowding.’

To read a little more about that (rather long) string of measures, have a look below. 

More on tourism controls in Amsterdam

The city failed to ban tourists from coffeeshops, but a weed-ban in the Red Light District was implemented in early 2023. However, Amsterdam has also launched a series of marketing campaigns (such as ‘Stay Away’, ‘Renew Your View’ and this strange quiz) to try and deter tourists, too. 

It’s even upped its tourist tax, and there are plans to move the city’s world-famous Red Light District – read more about that here

Did you see that a Barcelona neighbourhood has wiped a bus route off Google Maps to fight overtourism?

Plus: Türkiye has launched a digital nomad visa

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