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Amsterdam councillors: cheap visitors, stay home!


Amsterdam city councillors are proposing tax changes that favor richer visitors over those with limited budgets.

Udo Kock, councillor for finance, is looking at ways to discourage low-spending tourists. “We need more people who actually spend money in the city,” he told Dutch journalists. “We would prefer people who stay a couple of nights, visit museums, have lavish meals at restaurants, to people who pop over for a weekend eating falafel while sauntering around the red-light district.”

The proposal under consideration would add a fee of about €10 per day per person on top of the percentage hotel tax. Amsterdam is one of many cities that have recently seen demonstrations against "overtourism" amid fears of losing their character and their housing stock, but it may be the first to specifically try to choose rich over poor.

Photo: Nikita.t/Wikimedia

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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It's because the beer, dining, hotels, museum, coffee shops and the red light district are so expensive we can't afford to stay longer. Perhaps Udo Kock should change the image of Amsterdam away from drugs and prostitution so that the more discerning traveller - like myself - would make it a week instead of a weekend.

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