Amsterdam has been battling overtourism for a while now, banning tours of certain areas of the city center and implementing strict rules on public drinking to appease locals fed up with large unruly crowds at their front doors, but this latest change might be the biggest one yet.
Amsterdam is completely banning Airbnb and similar holiday rental platforms from three districts in the city’s old center, starting on July 1. According to a press release from the City of Amsterdam, currently “1 in 15 homes in Amsterdam is offered online.”
After the city conducted a poll of residents and local organizations, 75 percent supported banning the home-sharing platforms from operating in the districts of Burgwallen-Oude Zijde, Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde, and Grachtengordel-Zuid.
In the press release, deputy mayor Laurens Ivens said, “This [consultation] indicates that the subject is very much alive among Amsterdammers. What is striking is that no less than 75% are in favor of a ban on holiday rentals in the three districts.”
The districts where home-sharing platforms will still be allowed to operate will have severe restrictions in place. Starting July 1, it will only be permitted to rent your own home to visitors for a maximum of 30 nights a year.
In another two years Amsterdam will conduct another study and may add more districts to the ban if similar problems arise in other areas.
Amsterdam is not alone in its struggle against the overtourism brought by short-term holiday rentals. Earlier this year, Prague’s mayor Zdeněk Hřib proposed plans to ban property owners from leasing out entire flats unless it’s their own home and they are temporarily away.