Starting January 1, 2020, tours to the red light district of Amsterdam is going to banned. Also known as De Wallen, tours to the red light área of Amsterdam is facing ban to curb over-tourism. Most tourists end up at De Wallem without the knowledge that this also happens to be a residential area. As of now, the red light district of Amsterdam has a licencing system for guides that was supposed to help with the problem of over-tourism. But now the city is going to go for the ban from 2020 onwards. The city authorities are hopeful that the ban is going to reduce overcrowding and also improve the working conditions of the women working in this area.
Even though the city has numerous attractions in terms of tourism, De Wallen has held an important position in furthering tourism in the city. The ban has been put on place as an idea to stop treating prostitutes as tourist attraction and give them their due respect.
Certain tour companies do give visitors an in-depth understanding of the red light district and its history, it is now being considered inappropriate. The ban is also going to include bar crawling in this area.
Amsterdam mayor Udo Kock said in a statement, “We are banning tours that take visitors along sex workers’ windows, not only because we want to prevent overcrowding in the red-light district, but also because it is not respectful to sex workers.”
Amsterdam authorities are vigorously trying to bring change in the type of tourism that the city is known for. The usual narrative of tourism in Amsterdam is drinking and partying, and the authorities are trying to shift from this. The city has already banned beer bikes in the city, and furthermore, they are planning to ban booze boat trips, and Airbnb short-term rentals in the busy areas of the city.
Plus the city is raising tourist tax from 4-6 percent to 7 percent. This will perhaps raise an estimated $105 million a year by 2022.
As tourists it is our job to ensure that we respect the locals and practice responsible tourism.