A new law in Amsterdam, effective April 1, will establish a partial ban on tours of the city’s famous red light district. City officials are also considering banning tourists from buying cannabis in the city’s infamous “coffee shops” (aka dispensaries).
The new restrictions are an attempt to curb overtourism which has swept through Amsterdam in recent years, The Guardian reported.
One survey found that 42% of British visitors would visit Amsterdam less frequently if they couldn’t purchase marijuana. Of visitors between 18 and 35 years of age, 57% said the ability to buy marijuana was an important reason for visiting Amsterdam.
“For British visitors, coffee shops by far are the most frequently mentioned main reason to come to Amsterdam (33%),” city officials said. “They cite walking or cycling through the city less often as the main reason (21%) than the average (32%) and, on the contrary, more often indicate that a cheap trip was the main reason (11% compared with 6% on average).”
Amsterdam’s city council voted to limit the size of tours to only 15 people and ban the tours from stopping in busy places and in front of shops, restaurants and homes.