Amsterdam, a city globally celebrated for its picturesque canals, historical architectural marvels, and vibrant cultural ambiance, is currently deliberating a significant revision to its tourism tax structure. This new tax is planned to be implemented in 2024, This prospective change is being considered as a strategic response to the escalating influx of tourists and the associated strain on the city’s infrastructure.
According to Hester van Buren, Alderman for Finance, “Many Amsterdam residents are still struggling to keep their heads above water due to sharply increased prices. The costs for residents will remain the same in 2024. The tourist tax will increase: visitors will thus contribute to the city’s major tasks.”
The city’s officials originally had their sights set on a more modest rate increase, but they decided to boost it up due to pressure from the city council. Altogether, the city anticipates collecting €65 million from tourist taxes in the upcoming year.
According to van Buren’s interview with Dutch News, Tourists will now pay 12.5% of the cost of the hotel room, while the cruise industry’s passengers’ rates are standardized and will increase from €8 to €11 per person. Van Buren said this increase would make the cruise tourist tax the fourth highest in the world.
Assuming that the projected average room rate is €175 per individual, this adjustment will lead to a higher nightly expense, escalating from the current €15.25 to an estimated €21.80 by the year 2024.
According to Van Buren, the primary objective is to” fund services for the city’s residents, rather than necessarily discouraging visitors.” She characterized this as a delicate “balancing act and an approximation, emphasizing the need to strike a balance between managing over-tourism and sustaining revenue generation.”
In her remarks, Van Buren mentioned that she has been engaging with officials from other tourist-impacted cities, including Venice and Barcelona. She noted that Amsterdam also grapples with an influx of day-trippers, and although outright restrictions on entry are not feasible, the city is exploring means to impose a city tax on such visitors.
Amsterdam is expecting an excess of 20 million visitors this year, with a significant portion comprising day-trippers. The city has been grappling with the challenges posed by a growing number of tourists, particularly budget travelers whose presence has led to issues, particularly in the red-light district. As part of its efforts to address these concerns, Amsterdam is presently implementing a comprehensive set of measures aimed at curbing nuisance tourism and has committed to capping the total number of both domestic and foreign visitors at 20 million.