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Amsterdam will limit new hotels and river cruises to reduce the number of tourists

The municipality of Amsterdam is expanding its campaign against overtourism, adding to existing efforts to discourage problematic Britons abroad and to tackle tourist etiquette.

The latest measures are aimed at discouraging tourists from making the trip by limiting the number of river cruises entering the Dutch capital’s waterways and plans to reduce the number of overnight visitors by banning the construction of new hotels.

The proposals to limit how tourists enter and stay in the city predict 271,000 fewer visitors per year via river cruises and aim to limit overnight stays to just 20 million tourists per year.

For river cruises, this means halving the number of trips to Amsterdam to just 1,150 per year by 2028. In 2023, 2,300 boats will enter the city’s canals – a sharp increase from the 1,327 boats entering the city in 2011. visited.

A statement from the municipality of Amsterdam states: “Amsterdam must be and remain liveable for residents and visitors. That is why we take measures to combat overtourism. We want to halve the number of river cruise ships in the city within five years to a maximum of 1,150 in 2028. Fewer river cruises means less crowds and better quality of life.”

Sea cruise ships were not allowed to dock in the city center last July.

The municipality of Amsterdam adds: “River cruises contribute to the crowds and emissions in the city, with tourists, overnight stays, bus movements and supply traffic.

“River cruises therefore remain part of the Amsterdam visitor economy. We focus on the most sustainable ships that have a connection for green shore power.”

The city government’s efforts to curb the environmental and social impact of overtourism will also introduce a limit of 20 million overnight stays.

Excluding holiday rentals, this is 665,000 fewer than the total number of hotel nights in 2023.

As for hotel construction, a new hotel cannot open until another hotel closes – a one-in-one-out system that prohibits new openings from offering a greater number of beds than the previous property.

While Amsterdam says “no” to new hotels, 26 hotels that are already under development and have the necessary permits will be exempt from the new construction rule.

“A new hotel may, under certain conditions, only be built if a hotel elsewhere closes. The number of sleeping places may not increase. The hotel must also be improved, for example more modern and/or more sustainable. We encourage hotel owners to choose a place outside the center,” the municipality said.

The boat and building bans follow other measures to thin out crowds in the city last year, including the ban on cannabis in the Red Light District, an increased tourist tax, a ‘Stay Away’ campaign and an ‘Amsterdam Rules’ quiz to to deter noisy British visitors.