One of the ways in which the municipality can reduce the large number of tourists in the red-light district is by installing entrance gates and charging a small entrance fee. Here’s what ABN Amro says. But not everyone sees that.
Steve Driessen wrote a report on tourism in the city on behalf of the Bank. He says capacity can be limited by gates. “You could say at some point, this area is full now. It’s very busy.” Residents should always be able to enter, for example by scanning their pass or OV chip card.
“Certainly if you have to pay, you confirm it’s an attraction”
“Then we’ll officially become some kind of theme park, a tourist attraction, and then we’ll be a reserve,” replies Ed Hoeg, a resident of Wallen. “Certainly if you have to pay, you confirm it’s an attraction here.”
The report showed that the number of tourist overnight stays this year increased to 18 million goes. The municipality previously decided that new measures could be taken if the number of overnight stays exceeded this number. An increase in the tourism tax appears to be an option.
“It’s hard to find predictability. This affects conference hotels”
Hoegh thinks that’s a good thing, but Driessen says entrepreneurs are concerned. “We are not against the tourism tax, but we do support predictability. And predictability is hard to find. This affects conference hotels, because conferences are booked a year or two in advance.” In addition, Driessen says that nowadays tourists often spend the night in the surrounding municipalities. A higher tourist tax will not affect them.
The Bank will soon present the report to Municipal Council Member Sofiane Mbarki (Inner City Approach).
A spokesman for Alderman Mbarki responded:
It’s an interesting report with predictions from the hotel industry. We fully agree with the recommendation that we should reposition ourselves as a city. So what kind of city do we want to be and what kind of visitors do we want? This is exactly what we do now. We also need the help of the hotel industry. Ultimately we have to do it together. As far as we are concerned, all measures are on the table. We started work immediately after receiving the first expectations and are working on a wide range of procedures. It will be ready before the 1st of December this year.
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