Amsterdam increases tourist tax

Amsterdam is seeking to curb visitor numbers

Amsterdam has introduced a new tax on tourist accommodation, including holiday rentals, on top of the city’s existing tourist tax.

The Dutch capital has added a €3 per-person per-night fee in addition to a 7% hotel tax per room, with users of peer-to-peer lodging sites charged 10% per night.

The move was the latest in a series by authorities in Amsterdam to control visitor numbers. Last year saw the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions report that it was replacing “destination promotion” with “destination management,” as tourism continued to grow.

The organisation’s Perspective 2030 study forecast that the country was expected to receive 50% more tourists over the next decade, up from 18 million visitors in 2018 to an anticipated 29 million in 2030.

The report said: “We say that ‘more’ is not always better, certainly not everywhere. To be able to control visitor flows, we must take action now. Instead of destination promotion, it’s time for destination management.”

The ETOA reported that tourism taxes within Europe were growing with only nine out of 28 EU member states – many of them in Northern Europe – not charging tourism taxes. These were: Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden and the UK.

The top three visited countries in Europe -  France, Spain and Italy  - had  all introduced a range of charges.

Tim Fairhurst, director of policy, ETOA said: “Good governance requires an intelligent tax policy: at a local level especially, that requires thorough consultation and study. Cities need funds to keep infrastructure and services working for local communities and visitors. Implemented well, tourism taxes can be seen to support innovative and sustainable destination management. Otherwise, they add to the impression that while the money is welcome, the visitors are not.”