Amsterdam is investing millions into better managing the ever increasing number of people in the city, both residents and visitors, and into improving quality of life in the city, Finance alderman Udo Kock announced with the publication of the city's budget plans for 2017.
An increasing number of homeowners associations have problems with Airbnb rentals, according to umbrella organization VvE Belang. A number of recent court rulings indicated that Airbnb rentals are not allowed without the permission of the homeowners association, and more and more are considering banning rentals to tourists, the organization said to BNR.
Amsterdam is one of the eight most tourist unfriendly destinations in the world, according to a list compiled by British newspaper The Independent. The newspaper quotes Amsterdam Marketing CEO Frans van der Avert, saying he "made it abundantly clear the city is a bit over tourists".
Residents are tired of repeated military helicopter drills in the area between Arnhem, Epe, Ermelo and Apeldoorn. Recreation park owners from Ermelo teamed up to complain about the low flying helicopters affecting their business. They want Defense to only run its helicopter drills outside tourism season, the Gelderlander reports.
Discount website Groupon recently started offering helicopter flights over Amsterdam by company Heliams.com. This week there is a significant discount on the offer, causing great annoyance in the PvdA faction in Amsterdam, Het Parool reports.
Amsterdam coalition parties D66, VVD and SP plan to help shopkeepers in the city center in their fight against high rent increases. They want the municipality to investigate how these small business owners can be assisted legally. They are also planning a campaign to inform these business owners about their tenant's rights and legal options when their property manager increases their rent, Het Parool reports.
The Amsterdam police need 545 extra police officers in order to effectively deal with the increasingly busy city, assassination investigations and terrorism threats, according to Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aabersberg. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan sent a letter in which Aalbersberg details the need of the Dutch capital's police force, to the government in The Hague, Het Parool reports.
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair lashed out at Amsterdam tourism company Amsterdam Marketing following statements by CEO Frans van der Avert about budget airlines and house sharing destroying European cities, naming Ryanair and Airbnb specifically. Instead of disrespecting other companies and the millions of tourists who visit Amsterdam each year, critique should fall on the leadership of the organization responsible of running Amsterdam tourism, Ryanair marketing director Kenny Jacobs said to Irish newspaper The Journal.
With Airbnb locations booked solid and hotels filled to capacity, Amsterdam city hall has authorized the use of a police traffic management plan normally rolled out exclusively for massive events. A constant stream of tourists dragging suitcases behind them could be seen all Friday morning and afternoon, while restaurants, shops and attractions in Leidseplein, Dam Square, the Red Light District and the Nieuwmarkt were bursting at the seams.
About 950 thousand foreign tourists will spend Easter weekend in the Netherlands, according to calculations by NBTC Holland Marketing. "It is expected to be very busy", a spokesperson said to NOS. "In comparison with last year, we expect 100 thousand more tourists."
Most foreign visitors come from Germany, about 600 thousand. And over 200 thousand Belgians are expected to visit this weekend. In both countries spring break coincided with the Easter weekend. Some 300 thousand Dutch will also spend Easter in the Netherlands.
Airbnb is a major player in Utrecht. According to calculations by Utrecht University, per year about 40 thousand people book an overnight stay from a private renter in the city via Airbnb. That is about 15 percent of all overnight stays, AD reports.
The ongoing political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey resulted in hundreds of Dutch travelers rebooking their vacations to another destination, Arjan Kers, CEO of travel agency TUI Nederland, said to BNR.
"There are now several hundred, most of which found an alternate in Greece or Spain", Kers said, but added that "because a few hundred thousand Dutch annually go to Turkey on holiday, these numbers are not too bad."
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey, due to current political tensions between the two countries. The Dutch government does not advise against going to Turkey, but does warn Dutch travelers to watch out for gatherings and avoid public places, ANP reports.
These warnings are on top of the already in place advice of risks in Turkey due to terrorist attacks and political tensions.
Since autumn last year Amsterdam imposed a total of 526,500 euros in fines for illegal vacation rentals, mostly through sites like Airbnb and Booking.com, the Telegraaf reports.
Last year Dutch Airbnb landlords received a total of 1.4 million guests, according to a report the home sharing site released. The report has no figures for the Netherlands for 2015, but last year the Netherlands received way more guests than the 75 thousand of 2012, NOS reports.
There are currently 31 thousand apartments, houses or rooms in the Netherlands available to rent on Airbnb. A large proportion of them are in Amsterdam. According to the site, the average Airbnb landlord rents out his house for 28 nights a year and earns about 3 thousand euros.
Spending a night in a hotel in the Netherlands is becoming increasingly expensive as economic conditions continue to improve, according to ABN Amro's economic agency. Last year the price of a night in a Dutch hotel increased by about 8 percent, and the bank expects the prices to continue increasing this year, ANP reports.
The musicality of Amsterdam would be wise to increase its cooperation with house sharing platforms like Airbnb, economists at ABN Amro said to the Telegraaf. "In the capital tourism is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years, but since this year there is a reluctance on hotel policy whereby new hotel plans will often be rejected", industry economist Sonny Duijn said to the newspaper.
Amsterdam is increasing tourist taxes in the fight against crowds in the city. According to D66 alderman of Finance Udo Kock, this measure will not only deter "budget tourists" - people visiting the city on a low budget specifically for things like stag parties - but also bring in millions of euros to the city treasury, Het Parool reports.
Amsterdam activists have taken to writing on the walls in protest against the vast number of tourists in the city. At least two homes spray painted with the words "Stop mass tourism". The homes involved - a houseboat on Lijnbaansgracht and a house on Egelantiersstraat - are believed to be illegal hotels.
It seems that Naples wants to take some of the tourists Amsterdam is often complaining about off the Dutch capital's hands. Visitnaples.eu playfully launched an attack on Amsterdam with a video comparing the two cities.
In the video, posted on various social media platforms, the Italians compare the food, entertainment and museums in the two cities, and their prices. For example, visit to Caravaggio will cost 8 euros,compared to18 euros to visit the Van Gogh in Amsterdam.
A number of Amsterdam city center residents and entrepreneurs, united under the name d'Oude Binnenstad, sent a letter to Mayor Eberhard van der Laan complaining about the growing nuisance of tourists and the tourist industry. Tourism is taking over the city and Amsterdam is becoming uninhabitable, they write.
Tourism is an ever increasing industry in Rotterdam. According to Rotterdam City Marketing, the number of tourists increased by 23 percent up until May this year, bringing Rotterdam to 2nd place on the list of most tourist-visited city in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is in 1st place
The city of Amsterdam is looking at tightening the rules surrounding vacation rentals - renting your home out to tourists. The city is also increasing the penalties for not following the rules - from now on the fine for a first offense will be 20,500 euros, instead of 13,500 euros. And an inspector can close a house immediately, instead of only at fire hazard
The tourism sector is playing an increasingly prominent role in the Dutch economy, according to Statistics Netherlands. Last year tourism spending in the Netherlands amounted to 72,7 billion euros. Growing 5 percent for the second consecutive year.