‘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.


At least nine killed in explosion amid protest in Colombia

Updated 1 min 10 sec ago
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At least nine killed in explosion amid protest in Colombia

  • Hundreds of members of indigenous groups have halted traffic on major highway, demanding land titles and funding for social programs
  • About a million Colombians are members of indigenous groups

BOGOTA, Colombia: At least nine people were killed and four injured in an unexplained explosion on Thursday in an indigenous area in Colombia’s mountainous southwest, local authorities said.
The incident came on the 10th day of a blockade of the area’s major highway. Hundreds of members of indigenous groups have halted traffic on the roadway, demanding land titles and funding for social programs.
One policeman has been killed during the protest, which has caused shortages of gasoline and foodstuffs in some cities. Several vehicles have also been burned.
The explosion on Thursday took place in a house in Dagua municipality, an area largely inhabited by indigenous groups, the provincial government and disaster agency of Valle del Cauca province said.
Colombia, which has more than 45 million inhabitants, has more than 85 ethnic groups. About a million Colombians are members of indigenous groups.