‘Party city’ Amsterdam to crack down on tourists

Updated 17 May 2018
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‘Party city’ Amsterdam to crack down on tourists

  • Amsterdam is first and foremost 'a city to live in and to do business'
  • In some swamped neighborhoods a total ban on holiday rentals may be introduced

THE HAGUE: Amsterdam is seeking to contain the flood of tourists swamping the city, with the incoming council proposing a series of tough measures and plans to hike tourism taxes.
Some 18 million tourists visit Amsterdam every year — more than the entire population of the Netherlands — and local residents have become increasingly fed-up at the deluge.
The city’s picturesque narrow streets and canals now sag year round under the weight of all the visitors, including increasing numbers of raucous and unruly stag and hen parties.
Under a plan “to seek a new balance” put forward by the four parties forming the city’s next coalition council, popular activities like beer-bikes and boozy boat trips will be sharply curtailed.
“Tourism is part of the international culture of Amsterdam, which we should continue to cherish,” the plan says, a copy of which was obtained Thursday by AFP.
But due to “nuisance, crowds and rubbish, some neighborhoods are under extreme pressure.”
Amsterdam is first and foremost “a city to live in and to do business,” the plan says, adding “it is only secondly a tourist destination.”
From 2019 tourist taxes will be hiked to 7.0 percent, while the city will also look at ways to cut back on the number of hotel rooms.
In some swamped neighborhoods a total ban on holiday rentals may be introduced, and plans for a new passenger terminal for large cruise ships will be scrapped.
“We are looking for an alternative location outside of Amsterdam,” the plan says.
The city already announced in January that it would impose a new 30-day curb on the renting of private homes via websites like online booking giant Airbnb from next year. And this will be strictly enforced, the parties pledged.


Swine flu kills 40 in western India

Updated 47 min 55 sec ago
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Swine flu kills 40 in western India

  • Last year around 1,100 people died and 15,000 were infected across India by the highly contagious A H1N1 virus that spreads from human-to-human
  • Cases spike in the winter months of December and January in the west and north of the country including in Rajasthan and in New Delhi

JAIPUR, India: At least 40 people have died and more than 1,000 have tested positive for swine flu since the beginning of this year in a western Indian state popular with foreigners, authorities said Friday.
Last year around 1,100 people died and 15,000 were infected across India by the highly contagious A H1N1 virus that spreads from human-to-human.
Cases spike in the winter months of December and January in the west and north of the country including in Rajasthan and in New Delhi.
Authorities in Rajasthan, famous for its deserts and palaces, have told doctors they must seek permission before going on leave and plan a door-to-door campaign to detect infected patients.
Health officials have also launched an awareness campaign to sensitise people about symptoms, precautions and treatment, and have screened more than 5,100 people.
“Total deaths are 40 and positive cases are 1,036 as from January 1 to 17 in Rajasthan. One of the deaths occurred on Thursday,” according to a statement by the Rajasthan health department.
One high-profile victim in Delhi this week was Amit Shah, a top aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was admitted to hospital with the virus.
Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district recorded the highest death toll with 16 fatalities and 225 people testing positive.
No travel advisory has been issued however.