Amsterdam: it's one of Europe's most-visited cities, famous worldwide for its canals, bicycles and beautiful buildings. However, from today, travellers planning to visit to the city will need to budget for an increased tourism tax.
All visitors to Amsterdam now need to pay a tourism tax of €3 (Dh12) per person, per night. The tax applies to visitors staying in any type of accommodation including hotels, Airbnbs, guesthouses and canal boats.
Travellers staying in campsites will pay €1 (Dh4) per person, per night.
The new tax is added on top of the existing 7 per cent tax that the City of Amsterdam already collects from tourists, making tourism taxes in the city one of Europe's highest. Amsterdam is also one of the continent's busiest in terms of visitor numbers. The city welcomed nearly 20 million visitors last year, and the number continues to increase.
Overtourism has become a serious problem in the Dutch city, which is home to only 850,000 inhabitants. Officials are introducing various methods to try to limit overtourism problems. Tourism campaigns in the country will no longer actively promote Amsterdam and instead will focus on directing travellers to other Dutch destinations such as Rotterdam and Utrecht.
Combating overtourism with tax
Amsterdam isn't the only place planning to manage overtourism by adding taxes to visits.
As the number of global travellers continues to rise – with an estimated 1.4 billion international tourism arrivals in 2019 – levies are seen as a way to ease the effects of overtourism.
In Italy, Venice will introduce a day tourism tax of €10 (Dh41) starting in July. The city sees a huge number of day-trip visitors thanks to its prominence on large cruise-liner itineraries. Overnight visitors already pay a tourism tax, but city officials hope taxing day-trippers will help towards combating problems arising from overtourism.
Turkey is also planning to introduce a tourism tax later this year. Set to be collected from April 1, it will be set at 1 per cent of travellers' hotel charges.