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Travel industry news

12 Sep 2017

BY Tom Parry


Amsterdam eyes tourist tax increase

Amsterdam council officials are considering plans to raise the city’s tourist tax.

Amsterdam Bicycles.jpg

Council officials are considering ways to limit low-spending tourists

The proposals could reportedly see tariffs on hotel stays increase by up to €10 a night, as authorities attempt to funnel more money from tourism into the local economy.


About 17 million people visited the Dutch city in 2016, according to the Guardian - up from 12 million five years earlier.


More than a quarter of visitors stayed in budget hotels, the local council says, bringing limited investment to publicly owned businesses and helping to encourage a trend towards the city centre being dominated by cheap tourist accommodation.


Currently tourists pay 5% of the cost of their room in the city centre, with that rate due to increase to 6% in 2018.


Alderman for finance, Udo Kock told Dutch newspaper Het Parool he is looking at a new formula to limit low-spending tourists in favour of higher spenders.


“We need more people who actually spend money in the city,” he is quoted as saying.


“We would prefer people who stay a couple of nights, visit museums, have lavish meals at restaurants, to people who pop over for a weekend eating falafel while sauntering around the red-light district.”


The council is reportedly considering introducing a split-fee system – with visitors paying a fixed amount per night – up to €10 plus a percentage of the hotel bill.


A potential tax rise could also work to allay recent fears from local residents of "overtourism", Kock believes.


He added: “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.”

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