Travel

Amsterdam to slash Airbnb rentals to 30 days a year

Amsterdam announced on Wednesday that it will impose a new 30-day curb on renting out private homes via websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com from next year, seeking to stem a deluge of tourists flocking to its famous canals.

The current 60-day limit a year will now be halved "to stem the negative influence of holiday home rentals", the city council's executive said in a statement.

GROWTH

"During the last few years, there has been massive growth in the market of renting out homes to tourists. The increase in numbers has increasingly had an (unwanted) effect on various Amsterdam neighbourhoods."

The Dutch capital is now flooded with 17 million tourists a year, attributed to the city's ease of access and a highly successful marketing campaign.

In 2013, there were around 4,500 holiday rentals on offer on various websites, but by last year, the number had grown to 22,000.

Residents have complained of rowdy crowds of tourists and late-night disturbances.

Tourist numbers are often boosted by visiting groups, who see the tolerant and open-minded city as a party destination.

The council based its decision on a recent ruling by the Amsterdam District Court, which sought to clarify the rules about which homes can be used for holiday rentals, including a maximum time limit, the number of people allowed per home and an obligatory tourist tax.

Rentals have to be reported to the authorities who check whether the 30-day rule is being respected, the city council said.

Amsterdam reached a landmark agreement - which lasts until Jan 1, 2019 - with home rental website Airbnb in December 2016 to limit private rental sharing to 60 days. - AFP

TOURISM & TRAVEL