Friday 14 May 2021

Amsterdam to up tax for tourists, with ‘falafel eaters’ hit hardest

Photo: Alenmax via Depositphotos.com

Amsterdam’s finance chief Udo Kock wants to increase the tax paid by tourists by up to €10 a day, the alderman told the Parool.

The plan, which will take effect in 2019, would mean an extra €150m on top of the €80m which now flows into the capital’s coffers from tourist tax every year.

‘The number of visitors will grow from 17 million to 23 million in the coming years and that means more cleaning and a greater police presence in the streets. And I want Amsterdammers to profit from the success of the city,’ Kock told the paper.

Five options for increasing tourist tax are up for discussion but if it is up to Kock, the budget segment will be hit the hardest. In addition to the 5% tax on room prices, he favours adding ‘a couple of euros’ for every visitor using hotels, Airbnb and B&Bs. This, the Parool points out, will make tourism on a budget relatively more expensive.

‘We need more people who actually spend money in the city. We would prefer people who stay a couple of nights, who visits museums, have lavish meals at restaurants to people who pop over for a weekend eating falafel while sauntering around the red light district,’ Kock is quoted as saying.

He also thinks that the pressure on the city can be relieved by making it more expensive so people may stay in other cities but would still visit the capital.

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