Haarlem wants fewer tourists to visit the city
Over the past years much effort went into luring tourists to Haarlem, but many Haarlem residents now find it the city too crowded. The municipality therefore want to slow down tourism, in an effort to prevent Haarlem becoming as crowded as Amsterdam, NH Nieuws reports.
"There are signals from the city that we must properly monitor the balance between living, working and recreation. That is now disrupted", the Haarlem municipality said in a plan of action. The municipality wants to continue to benefit from the positive effects of tourism, but also wants to keep the city livable. "The wish is that we focus more on quality, distribution, managing tourism in the right direction, and not so much on growth."
The number of tourists visiting Haarlem increased steadily over the past years, from 4.9 million in 2017 to 5.6 million last year. The number of overnight stays increased from 427 thousand to 498 thousand, according to the broadcaster. The number of tourists is expected to increase even further, given Haarlem's vicinity to Amsterdam and Zandvoort, where the Grand Prix is happening next year.
In the plan of action, the municipality raises concerns that the crowds will result in Haarlem residents turning against the visitors, such as in the capital. "Haarlem must learn from Amsterdam. It is the wish to not repair afterwards, but act beforehand."
The Haarlem office of mayor and aldermen therefore want to focus on people who come to Haarlem to actually spend time in the city, shopping in its stores, visiting is museums and eating in its restaurants. Beer bikes and tours with Segways are therefore forbidden in the city.
Haarlem also tightened the rules around Airbnb rentals, following Amsterdam's example and decreasing the number of days a home can be rented to tourists from 60 to 30 days per year. And hotels are asked to focus on quality over quantity - there are few accommodation options in the city, according to the broadcaster.