Published on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017
About 17 million people visited the city in 2016, which is an increase from 12 million five years earlier, and this trend is expected to go up this year and in the coming years as well.
More than a quarter of visitors stayed in budget hotels, bringing limited cash into the municipal coffers.
In recent times, there have been protests from locals that excess tourism is threatening the city and creating problems in the lives of residents. Last week, protesters carrying banners and megaphones took to the city’s streets chanting, “Amsterdam, not for sale!” and “Whose city? Our city!” in the latest show of annoyance among residents at the changing face of their town.
Following a number of measures being taken in the recent years and thinking of residents’ safety, a radical tax plan is now in the pipeline.
Tourists pay 5% of the cost of their room in the city centre, and that rate is due to increase to 6% in 2018. The city councillor responsible for finance, Udo Kock, said that he is looking at a new formula to squeeze out low-spending tourists and in favour of the heavier spenders.
Kock said, “The number of visitors will grow from 17 million to 23 million in the coming years and that means more cleaning and a greater police presence in the streets. And I want Amsterdammers to profit from the success of the city.”
Residents have become increasingly vociferous in recent years, complaining they are being forced out by spiralling house prices and an influx of tourists. Local politicians have claimed the city is at risk of becoming “the Venice of the north”.