Amsterdam officials are fighting to ban Airbnb and increase tourist taxes, among other things, in the popular Western European locale in an effort to provide “balance in the city.”
According to the Irish Independent, Amsterdam’s main political parties are aiming to reduce and reform tourism in an attempt to “reverse the ‘Disneyfication’ of the Dutch capital.”
A coalition of four parties, which is hoping to form the new city government in Amsterdam, issued a pledge of agreed reforms that includes: a ban on short-term Airbnb rentals in busy areas; a reroute for cruise ships from docking in the centre; a crackdown on “fun rides” like Segways, beer bikes and boozy boat trips; and a hike in tourist tax that will increase to a flat 7pc and raise €105 million a year by 2022.
According to Yvette Hofman, spokesman for the GroenLinks green-left party, the reforms are aimed to improve and sustain the living conditions for long-term Amsterdam residents.
“This is a subject that really matters to residents, who have felt under attack by increasing crowds, partly due to Airbnb and illegal hotels,” she told the Irish Independent. “They have complained they no longer know their neighbours and of [a tourist] monoculture in the centre. This is about balance."
Amsterdam, one of the top locations for Airbnb, has recently experienced a massive rise in tourism: 18 million people are expected to visit this year, an increase of 7 million from 11 million in 2005, according to the research bureau SEO. In recent city elections, however, tourism was a central issue. The GroenLinks, a green political party in the Netherlands, recently campaigned to reduce the influx of tourism in the city in an attempt to prevent a shortage of housing caused by tourist rental apartments and provide more middle-income homes for permanent residents.
The Airbnb ban in Amsterdam can potentially affect those visiting for annual and large-scale electronic events in and near the city like Drumcode Festival, Loveland Festival, Dekmantel Festival, Awakenings and industry conference and festival Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
John Ochoa is the editor-at-large of DJ Mag North America. You can find him living his best life on Twitter.
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