In a bid to combat overtourism and curb pollution, Amsterdam’s city council has approved a proposal to ban cruise ships. This decisive move is part of the city’s larger plan to honor its sustainability commitments and reduce the influx of tourists.
The announcement, made by Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Hester van Buren’s spokesperson, stated that the city council ratified the proposal to shut down the city’s cruise ship terminal. The city’s port falls under the purview of Deputy Mayor Hester van Buren.
The proposal, introduced by the center-left party D66, was accepted with a significant majority. Ilana Rooderkerk, D66 party chairwoman, underscored that “polluting cruise ships do not fit with the sustainable ambitions” of Amsterdam. Rooderkerk also indicated that the presence of cruise ships at the heart of the city contradicts Amsterdam’s goal of reducing tourist numbers.
Amsterdam expects to welcome over 18 million overnight tourists this year, a figure projected to rise to 23 million by 2025. The city also anticipates between 24 to 25 million day visits. Given this situation, the city council, under the 2021 ordinance “Amsterdam Tourism in Balance,” is compelled to intervene when overnight visitor numbers hit the 18 million mark.
In addition to the cruise ship ban, the city has previously undertaken other measures to manage tourism. Earlier this year, Amsterdam introduced a “Stay Away” campaign online, primarily aimed at discouraging young British men from visiting the city for reckless partying. In a further move to maintain social decorum, the city announced plans to outlaw the use of marijuana on the streets and limit alcohol in its famous red light district.
The city, keen to “limit tourism and prevent nuisance,” also proposed to restrict river cruises, convert hotels into offices, and impose earlier closing times for bars and clubs. Despite these plans, the spokesperson for the deputy mayor acknowledged that fully implementing the proposal to ban cruise ships may take some time, so it is unlikely that the city center will be devoid of cruise ships immediately.
These progressive measures underscore Amsterdam’s commitment to sustainability, social balance, and pollution reduction, although the city also recognizes the challenges posed by these significant changes to its traditional tourism sector. (AA, CNN)