From their picturesque canals to beautiful buildings, more Britons are sure to visit Amsterdam this year – but there’s a new charge that holidaymakers might want to know before booking their next weekend getaway. Starting January 1, travellers planning to visit the city will need to be aware of the increased tourist tax. Visitors to Amsterdam will now need to pay a tourist tax of €3 (£2.56) per person, per night. This is an addition to the current seven percent tax that the city charges.
The Amsterdam website explained: “From 1 January 2020 the City of Amsterdam will ask for a larger contribution of visitors staying the night in hotels or camping sites.
“On top of the current seven percent tourist tax a fixed amount will be charged. For hotel rooms: €3 per person per night. For camping sites: €1 per person per night.
“Tourist tax for holiday rentals, bed & breakfasts and short-stay accommodation will be 10 percent of the turnover, excluding VAT and tourist tax.”
Those staying in campsites will pay €1 (85p) per person, per night. In addition, companies operating sea and river cruises will pay a tourist tax of €8 (£6.81) per passenger.
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Tourist tax: Visitors to Amsterdam will now have to pay an €3 (£2.56) per person, per night
Their website states “the tax is for cruise passengers who do not live in Amsterdam and are stopping over.”
Amsterdam reportedly welcomed 19 million tourists in 2018, with visitor numbers expected to grow dramatically over the next few years.
Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has said she expects 29 million in 2025.
During Halsema’s speech as she was sworn in as mayor of Amsterdam in 2018, she spoke about the city’s growth and how future changes could affect their relationship with other countries.
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She said: “This growth spurt may produce growing pains, put our relationships under pressure, and affect the essence of our city.
“By the essence of the city, I don’t mean the self-assurance, the humour, or the typical Amsterdam torrents of abuse… like when you’re cycling on the pavement and – totally by accident, of course – you knock someone flying.
“And neither do I mean the constant roadworks, traffic jams…the irritations about parking… or the endless discussions we have about such momentous issues as the cycle tunnel under the Rijksmuseum…The essence of Amsterdam is the promise of freedom.”
Tourist tax: Amsterdam is now one of the highest tourist tax cities in Europe
The changes make Amsterdam one of Europe’s highest taxing cities – however, they are not alone.
Rome currently maintains a fixed price tax at €7 (£5.96) per person per night in a five star hotel.
Dortmund, Germany also has a high percentage of tourist tax, at 7.5 percent of the cost of a room.
In July, Venice will introduce a day tourism tax set between €3-10 euros (£2.55-£8.52).
The council has described this as “a contribution for access” to the city, in a bid to make the visitors contribute to the upkeep of the city.
“The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents,” Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, said earlier this year. “We’re not in it to make money but to get to a point in 2022 where we can manage the flow of tourists with an obligatory booking system.”
Following the announcement, minister for tourism Gian Marco Centinaio criticised the tax, calling it a “useless and damaging measure”.
“Do we want to become a country that repels tourists?” he wrote on Twitter, adding that it was “enough to make you weep”.