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Faced with tourist crowds, Amsterdam takes measures to improve mobility

By Ralf Tinga / Updated: 12 Jun 2018


The City of Amsterdam has introduced a list of measures that could be put in place to deal with the effects of mass tourism. Many of these concern mobility in the city’s historic centre.

According to the Dutch statistics agency CBS, Amsterdam hotels attracted 7.3 million tourists in 2016, adding up to 14 million hotel nights. To deal with this volume of tourists, the upcoming council executive will propose a list of measures that should relieve Amsterdam’s city centre and should make traffic safer.

Touring cars would be banned within the city’s ring road (A10). The municipality had already announced a ban on touring coaches and sightseeing buses in the city centre in December. Tour operators should drop off their passengers at Sloterdijk, a bus and railway interchange outside of the city centre.

The municipality would also restrict tourist flows from boats. Tour boats would not be allowed to pick up or drop off passengers in the city centre, while hotel boats would not be able to moor in the inner city. The plans also include the closure of a cruise terminal.

To make inner city traffic safer, a range of ‘fun vehicles’ would be prohibited, including segways, water taxis, beer bikes, carriages and Hot Tugs (floating hot tubs). City guides would not be allowed to guide groups larger than 20 persons.

Dutch broadcaster NOS records that the proposals have received mixed reactions. Inhabitants welcomed the proposals, but a local tour operator argued that tourists will nevertheless come to the city centre, regardless of the level of tourists.

Tourism and mobility

This year’s SUMP conference, organised by Eltis, featured several presentations on tourism-related mobility.

Urban mobility planning
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