‘Party city’ Amsterdam to crack down on tourists

Updated 17 May 2018

‘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.


Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

Updated 23 min 50 sec ago

Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

  • Pakistan reports a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths
  • In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight

ISLAMABAD/ NEW DELHI: Pakistan reported a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths with 82 new fatalities and 4,688 cases that it says resulted from increased testing in the past 24 hours.
In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight.
The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the India’s health ministry reported Thursday.
Pakistan’s outbreak has grown steadily since the country’s first case in February. Since then, 1,770 people have died and 85,264 have tested positive.
As many as 901 patients were listed in critical condition at hospitals Thursday. The country has barely 3,000 intensive care beds serving a population of 220 million.
Pakistan for the first time conducted over 20,000 tests in the past 24 hours. It has done more than 615,000 tests after increasing its testing capacity from only two labs in February.
The spike comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown restrictions over expert’s recommendations to maintain them to prevent the spread of the virus. Authorities have blamed people not adhering to social distancing regulations for the growing outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Indian health ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.
India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.
India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.