Amsterdam gives green light to Red Light District tour ban; “Free” city tours also halted
The Amsterdam city council approved a ban on guided tours in the Red Light District. The ban will be implemented on January 1st, Het Parool reports.
From January 1st all tour guides must have a permit to give tours in the rest of the city center. "Free" tours - in which guides recruit participants on the street for a free tour and then ask for a contribution afterwards - will no longer be allowed. Maximum tour sizes will also be decreased from 20 people to 15. Participants in group tours will be charged a levy.
"Amsterdam is not a backdrop for tourists", Zeeger Ernsting of GroenLinks said, according to Het Parool. "Large groups cause nuisance in the city center and change the character of the neighborhoods."
A number of tour organizers are disappointed in the decision. The city is aware of that. "A ban is a harsh measure", alderman Udo Kock said. "Parties will be disappointed." He promised to talk to these parties and to quickly evaluate the new measures, as a majority in the city council demanded.