Amsterdam to ban tours in Red Light District

Amsterdam's Red Light District
Amsterdam's Red Light District. (Rungbachduong / Wikimedia Commons)

Amsterdam will ban guided group tours along the window brothels in the Red Light District, the city announced in a press statement. The municipality is currently working out how to legally implement the ban.

The ban will include paid tours, as well as free tours and encouraging people to participate in such a tour. According to the municipality, these free tours have a magnetic effect on the number of group tours, and actively trying to convince passersby to take part in such a tour and then asking them for a contribution afterwards is "often experienced as a nuisance". Tourists caught participating such a tour will have to pay an entertainment tax. 

"We are going to ban tours of prostitution windows, not only to combat the crowds in the Red Light District, but especially because it is not respectful towards sex workers", Economic Affairs alderman Udo Kock said. "It is no longer of this time to see sex workers as a tourist attraction."

Guided tours in the rest of the city center, excluding the Red Light District, will still be allowed as long as the tour guide has a permit and adheres to the rules. The maximum size for tour groups will be lowered from 20 to 15 people. The municipality, in cooperation with the tours sector, will also publish a guideline with quality requirements that tour guides will have to adhere to. 

The new rules will be implemented on January 1st next year, once the current exemptions expire

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