Amsterdam Is Sick Of Being Amstercram, So You're Going To Pay For It
Amsterdam's cracking down on tourists by making it more expensive for travellers to go there.
The Netherlands' capital currently has a seven percent tourist tax that applies to all hotels per person, per night.
But from next year, visitors to the Dutch capital can expect to pay another €3 ($4.85) per person, per night, on top of their hotel bills.
This latest price hike will likely make Amsterdam's tourist taxes the highest in Europe, according to Tim Fairhurst, director of policy for the European Tourism Association.
"It will likely make Amsterdam's the highest overnight tax in Europe, on average," he told CNN.
"Flat-rate tax increases are regressive, disproportionately affecting lower-priced accommodation and the visitors who stay there."
Amsterdam also charges €8 ($12.90) to every cruise ship passenger that visits the city, even if they are not staying overnight in the city.
With nearly 19 million visitors last year descending on a city with a population of 820,000, the city wants to crack down on tourism.
Earlier this year, mayor Femke Halsema announced a proposal to ban sex workers from displaying themselves in windows.
"We’re forced by circumstances because Amsterdam changes,” Halsema said at the time.
“I think a lot of the women who work there feel humiliated, laughed at, and that’s one of the reasons we are thinking about changing.”
Last year the city removed the iconic 'I amsterdam' sign after it became a selfie destination, leading to complaints from locals about overcrowding.
Amsterdam is not the only tourist hot spot in Europe imposing taxes on visitors to fight off overcrowding.
Governments across the continent are introducing the taxes to pay for improvements to infrastructure to accommodate the large volume of visitors and to decrease the number of arrivals.
Dortmund in Germany has the highest tourist tax at 7.5 percent on top of hotel bills per person.
At the start of this year, Venice introduced a peak-season tax of between €2 and €10 ($3.20 and $16.15) per person. With Venice's narrow streets crammed by 30 million visitors a year, it is hoped the new tax will increase revenue by €50 million a year.
In Italy, Rome currently has the highest fixed-price tax for overnight visitors, set at €7 ($11.30) per night, per person.
But the world's most expensive tourist tax isn't in Europe. That honour goes to the Kingdom of Bhutan, in South Asia, which costs $250 a day to visit. However, that price covers everything.
Hotels, food, transport, admission costs are all covered by this tax. The Bhutan government sets tour prices and monitors costs, and all guests to the Kingdom must book from an approved list.