Dutch hotel stays 25% more expensive this year; Amsterdam could push tourist tax up 30%
Hotel rooms in the Netherlands are expected to become 25 percent more expensive this year and top pre-pandemic prices during the course of 2023. Amsterdam hotels are making the biggest comeback, according to a report by hotel real estate consultant Horwath HTL, Het Financieele Dagblad reports. Amsterdam plans to increase tourist tax by up to 30 percent to fight over-tourism, according to Misset Horeca.
Hotels are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. The occupancy rate, which fluctuated around 70 percent in pre-pandemic years, is still stuck at 60 percent. But it is expected to return to the normal level next year. Room prices, which dropped by over a quarter during the pandemic, will be almost 15 percent higher in 2024 than in 2019, Horwath HTL expects.
Amsterdam hotels, in particular, suffered from coronavirus travel restrictions and are now making a comeback in a big way. “The recovery in Amsterdam has been extremely rapid since March 1,” Ewout Hoogendoorn, managing director of Horwath HTL in the Benelux, said to FD. Though he pointed out that hotels in the capital had a lot to recover from, with an occupancy rate of only 15 percent during the pandemic. Business travelers from Asia and the United States are not all back yet, but rapid growth in domestic tourism in Amsterdam is making up for it.
The rapid growth of tourism in Amsterdam may mean that the municipality has to intervene sooner than expected, ABN Amro said in a report that will also be published on Tuesday. A recent regulation, taken at the initiative of about 30,000 locals, states that the municipality must increase tourism tax if the number of overnight stays reaches 18 million. The tax increase should limit overnight stays and prevent nuisance. ABN Amro sector economist Stef Driessen expects the 18 million overnight stays limit to be reached this year.
According to Misset Horeca, Amsterdam plans to raise the city’s tourist tax by up to 30 percent. “This means that a hotel room for two people from 150 euros per night will cost 195 euros,” the information platform for the hospitality industry said.
But ABN Amro worries that the increase in tourist tax will not have the desired effect. According to the bank, there is a good chance that business travelers and conference-goers will choose other cities, but problem-causing party tourists will still go to Amsterdam, if through different routes. For example, the number of Airbnbs in the area around Amsterdam with “Amsterdam” in their name grew by 250 percent to 3,349, and the number of hotels that sell themselves as Amsterdam is also increasing.