During these weeks, residents of Barcelona, Dubrovnik and Paris are facing again overtourism, or otherwise, the large number of tourists in a very small space.
The consequences are well known: heavy traffic, lack of parking and blocked historic centers. And further, rude tourists, noise at all hours of the day and trash in every corner.
Before Covid, the phenomenon of mass tourism has caused strong tensions, with residents in several famous cities having often manifested against the river of tourists. And now that travel has resumed, some of these cities have taken concrete measures to tackle the problem. Starting in Venice, on August 1, large ships will be prevented from sailing in front of San Marco Square and the Giudecca Canal.
Amsterdam has gone beyond, in the post-pandemic era has decided to limit the maximum number of tourists. It is the first city in the world to curb the growth of the tourism industry. The new regulation, recently approved by the city council is called “Tourism in equilibrium” and provides for some measures that will be implemented in the coming years.
They were drafted together with the initiators of the petition which started last summer by a group of Amsterdam citizens, to curb the possibility overtourism possible post-pandemic and was signed by 30 thousand inhabitants. The measure envisions a maximum of 20 million tourists per night per year, with 12-18 million as a “reference value”. This number can only be increased if the municipality gives its consent.
For comparison: in the pre-Covid era, Amsterdam had over 22 million overnight bookings. The city plans to ban the opening of new hotels, impose stricter restrictions on booking rental homes on platforms like Airbnb, raise the tourist tax and make the red light area less attractive to tourists. In recent weeks, the city administration promoted a campaign that invites tourists to return to places of culture and restaurants.
Speaking of the “coffee shop”, one of the symbols in Amsterdam – earlier this year, the municipality announced its intention to stop the entry of foreign tourists and allow only those with a Dutch passport. With this measure, the city aims to stop the so-called “drug tourism”, especially from the UK. It is not yet clear when the ban on foreigners will take effect.