Amsterdam’s Latest Effort to Fight Excessive Tourism: No New Hotels

Amsterdam has been searching for any way to rein in the number of tourists that visit the city every year.

In March of last year, the city launched an ad campaign specifically targeted at British men between 18 and 35, urging them to “stay away.”

In July, the Dutch capital announced it would bar cruise ships from docking in the city center.

The city has also long tried to control the crowds in its red-light district, where rowdy groups of tourists often cause disruptions to local residents. It has added stricter rules about smoking marijuana. It has banned new tourist shops. And still, the people keep coming.

Now, the city — which is as well known for its canals and 17th century art as for its legal sex industry and easy access to marijuana — has taken one more step to further restrict the explosive growth of tourists: It is banning hotels from being built.

“Amsterdam is saying ‘no’ to new hotels,” the City Council said in a statement. “We want to make and keep the city livable for residents and visitors,” it added.

Amsterdam, which added that it was seeking to keep hotel stays by tourists to under 20 million per year, saw its highest number of visitors before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 25.2 million hotel stays, according to the city’s data.

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