Amsterdam closed over 200 illegal hotels this year

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In the first ten months of this year Amsterdam closed a total of 211 illegal hotels - significantly more than the 167 illegal hotels closed in the city in all of 2015, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures from Amsterdam alderman Laurens Ivens.

Ivens is responsible for building and housing, among other things. According to a spokesperson for the alderman, these illegal hotels hardly ever involved larger hotels. They were mostly apartments where no one lives, but which are rented out to tourists. For example a building with several floors in which each apartment is rented out separately, sometimes through several different places. The spokesperson estimates that such apartments make up about 80 percent of illegal hotels in the city. 

According to Marco van Bruggen of Howarth HTL - a consulting firm for Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure - despite the lack of much official figures, the economic impact of illegal hotels in the Netherlands seems limited. Compared to the 38 thousand hotel rooms in Amsterdam, the number of illegal hotels discovered is small. Throughout last year there were 12.9 million overnight stays in offical hotel rooms in the Dutch capital. In the first half of this year there were already 6.8 million. 

Van Bruggen believes the damage lies more in the fact that if something goes wrong in an illegal hotel, it reflects badly on the image of Amsterdam as a tourist city. Illegal hotels also cause inconvenience to local residents and mean that the apartments used for illegal hotels aren't available for people who want to live in Amsterdam.