Tuesday, May 28

Amsterdam Introduces Highest Tourist Tax in Europe to Combat Overtourism

Starting in 2024, Amsterdam, known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, will implement the highest tourist tax in Europe, raising the levy on overnight stays from 7% to 12.5%. This move is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to combat overtourism.

The City of Amsterdam stated, “The tourist tax will be further increased to fund the extra spending so that visitors make a bigger contribution to the city.” They believe this will also play a crucial role in addressing the challenges posed by overtourism.

Given an average room rate of €175 per person, this increase will elevate the tourist fee from €15.25 to €21.80 per night. In comparison, other major cities like Barcelona and Paris charge significantly lower tourist taxes, averaging around €2.25 and €4 per person per day respectively.

With a population of about one million residents, Amsterdam has grappled with managing an influx of 15 to 20 million visitors annually. In an effort to preserve the city’s quality of life, authorities have set a maximum limit on visitors.

Over the years, Amsterdam has been a magnet for tourists attracted to its unique offerings, including the famous “coffee shops” where cannabis can be purchased and consumed, as well as the renowned red-light district.

The tax increase follows the city’s 2022 announcement to address issues related to disruptive bachelor parties and organized pub crawls. Additionally, there are plans to implement earlier closing times for certain bars and clubs in the city center, along with a partial ban on public cannabis consumption.

Earlier in 2023, authorities launched a “stay away” campaign, urging British stag groups known for their rowdy behavior to consider other destinations for their gatherings.

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