Amsterdam bans construction of new hotels as a way to fight overtourism

Author: Editors Desk, Reuters and CNN's Lilit Marcus Source: CNN:::
April 19, 2024 at 03:38
Tourist boats cruise on a canal in Amsterdam. Francois Lenoir/Reuters
Tourist boats cruise on a canal in Amsterdam. Francois Lenoir/Reuters
CNN — The Netherlands’ Amsterdam will no longer allow new hotel buildings to be built as part of its fight against mass tourism, the local government said on Wednesday, April 17.

“We want to make and keep the city liveable for residents and visitors. This means: no overtourism, no new hotels, and no more than 20 million hotel overnight stays by tourists per year,” it said in a statement.


A new hotel in Amsterdam can only be built if another hotel closes, if the number of sleeping places doesn’t increase, and if the new hotel will be better – for example, more sustainable.

However, the rule does not apply to new hotels that have already secured a permit.

The city has been actively trying to limit tourist numbers, which run into the millions per year, mainly by discouraging sex and drug-related tourism to the red light district.

This is the latest in a series of measures the Dutch capital has taken to mitigate the issue of overtourism in the city.


Last year, the Amsterdam City Council voted to ban cruise ships and close its cruise terminal.

The city also banned the use of marijuana on public streets in the red light district and ended guided tours that passed by sex workers’ windows.

Under a 2021 ordinance called “Amsterdam Tourism in Balance,” the city council is “obliged to intervene” when tourism numbers reach 18 million people.

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