Amsterdam bans new tourist shops from opening in city center

In an ongoing effort to reduce the number of tourists in Amsterdam, the municipality decided that no new tourist shops will be allowed to open in Amsterdam Centrum, the city of Amsterdam announced in a press release on Thursday.

The increasing number of tourists and day visitors in the city center, goes hand-in-hand with an ever increasing number of shops focused only on visitors. The result is that the the store offer in the city center is shrinking, and with it the ease of life for local residents, according to the city.

"The situation in the center calls for solid measures. There are too many stores with the same, one-sided offer aimed at tourists. More and more residents and entrepreneurs are worried about this shrinkage", deputy mayor and economics alderman Kasja Ollongren said. "The college [of mayor and aldermen] found an answer to that and will from now on allow no new tourist stores. I think it's important that our city remains attractive and livable for Amsterdammers."

The ban will affect two types of stores. The first is stores aimed specifically at tourists and day visitors, like stores selling souvenirs, bicycle rental companies and attractions. The city will determine whether new stores are aimed at tourists by looking at their advertisements, presentation, assortment and operation. The second type of store that will be banned, is stores selling food for immediate consumption, such as ice cream parlors. 

According to the city, this decision was unanimously approved by the Amsterdam municipal council. The ban affects the post code area 1012 and around 40 shopping streets that surround it. The final adaptions to the zoning plans will be implemented in the course of next year, but the city already issued a preparatory decision that will allow it to deny permits to tourist shops that want to open in the city center.