Amsterdam now wants stag parties to go elsewhere
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.
"We want to focus on quality tourism", Kock said to the newspaper. According to him, that involves couples who stay in more expensive hotels, visit a museum or two in the day and go to bed at a reasonable time. "At present 28 percent of bookings are in budget hotels. This must decrease." His plan is to use tourist tax as a means to select which type of visitors come to the city.
Kock's plan involves having tourists pay both a fixed amount per night and a percentage fo the price of a room in a hotel or via Airbnb as tourist tax. Currently Amsterdam charges 5 percent of the room rate as tax. "Municipalities always choose one of the two options. It would be unique if we introduce both bases. I know of no city in the world that does this."
He plans to use a minimum amount. For example, where tourists now pay 2.50 euros in tourist tax for a 50 euros per night room, they will pay the minimum amount of 10 euros under Kock's plan. That will particularly impact the cheaper hotels - 10 euros on a 60 euros a night room makes a much bigger difference than on a 250 euros a night room.
According to Kock, his plan s not so much to attract fewer tourists. "We wish to start a shift with this."