THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Amsterdam announced on Thursday that it would ban vacation rentals including those on the home-sharing site Airbnb in three areas that make up the central old town from July 1.
In the other neighbourhoods of the Dutch capital, vacation rentals will be allowed only with a special permit, and only for up to 30 days a year, to groups of no more than four people.
Critics have long complained that the rise of Airbnb-style tourist rentals has torn the soul out of the centre of Europe’s best-loved tourist cities, from Edinburgh to Barcelona.
Amsterdam housing councillor Laurens Ivens said in a press release that some 75% of the 780 inhabitants and organisations who had submitted views on a ban had been in favour. The city says one in 15 dwellings in Amsterdam as a whole shows up on online rental platforms.
Amsterdam’s left-wing city council has been vocal about curbing mass tourism and the nuisance caused by tourists in the old city centre.
The neighbourhoods where Airbnb will be banned include the 500-year-old red-light district and most of the inner city canal ring, part of a UNESCO world heritage site.
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