Effective immediately, Amsterdam has banned any new tourist shops from opening in the city center. Banned shops include ticket vendors, bike rental companies, and cheese shops, as well as any storefronts selling food for immediate consumption. Despite hosting 17 million tourists, the city of Amsterdam is limiting such shops to about 40 streets surrounding the city center. The decision is supported by the local community and is seen as a step away from the “Disney-ification” of the historic city. The local Dutch government also recently announced plans to increase the tourist tax on hotel rooms.
The move comes as part of a larger trend across Europe to ensure the infrastructure and communities are upheld despite booming (and in some cases, detrimental) tourism economies. Others argue such regulations are part of a larger overall effort to attract better “quality” tourists, those who want to immerse themselves in the city’s local culture and not simply visit commercial tourist attractions.