Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. It is one of the mostpopulartouristdestinations in Europe. The city has several well-reputeduniversities, academies, and researchinstitutes, along with more than40 museums, numeroustheatres, and entertainmentvenues, and all these placesmake it a perfectdestination to visit and live. Amsterdam is also the country’sleadingculturalcentre. In addition, the city is famous for its many well-preservedhistorichomes.

Here we will describe some of the top trends, statistics, and facts about the Amsterdam tourism industry.

Covid-19 and the tourism industry

Amsterdam’s tourismindustry has been hithard by the pandemic since the beginning in mid-March when the Netherlands went into semi-lockdown to combat the covid-19pandemic. Tourismvanished from Amsterdam almost overnight. A social and economiccrisis has hit the country and its capitalhard. But for residents of Amsterdam’shistoriccitycentre, there is a clearsilverlining: temporaryrelief from the burden of over-tourism

No doubt, the cause of this crisis was very sad, but for residents, it was a blessing in disguise, because the city was facing over tourism before this pandemic. Due to a lack of tourists, many Amsterdammers were reminded of a time when the city, first and foremost, was a place to live, and not to consume or play tourist. However, cityofficials have been using such strategies and policies to create a more sustainable tourism industry since the time after the pandemic.

Pre- and Post-pandemic Statistics

  1. As early as 2014, Amsterdamstoppedpromoting itself as a destination in newmarketsoverseas
  2. Instead, the city’smarketingorganizationworked to guide and manage all of the visitors who showedup in the city.
  3. Before the pandemic, the counciladopted a string of tough measures to get a handle on tourism problems including a ban on guidedtours of the RedLightDistrict; a ban on newhotels in thecitycentre; an increase in the touristtax; and a ban on newshops that cater to tourists.
  4. Touristtax was raised to €3 (US $ 3,38) per person per night, in addition to a 7% hoteltax per room, and tours of the red-lightdistrict were banned
  5. New shops catering solely to international visitors, such as those sellingwoodentulips and vacuum-packedcheeses were also forbidden.
  6. Businesses in the red-lightdistrict have reportedrevenuelosses of up to 90%.
  7. Hoteloccupancyratesdecreased from 81% in March2019, to 41.2% in March 2020.
  8. In 2019, a record-breaking 21.7 million people visitedAmsterdam, a city with a population of about870,000.
  9. To revitalizeneighbourhoodsdominated by cut-pricetourism, the council was pushing ahead with a ban on holidayrentals in threeareas, including the red-lightdistrict, starting from July1st, 2020.
  10. Cityofficials are trying to create a moresustainabletourismindustry that doesn’t harm the liveability of the city, and that takes into account the needs of residents and locals.
  11. Sustainabilityplans include creatingenvironmentallyfriendlymobilitysolutions, establishing an effectivewaste-managementplan, establishing a crowdmanagementsystem to controlbusyplaces, etc.
  12. Amsterdam&Partners created localdeals to encourageresidents to explore their citysafely, which helped support the reopening of businesses and the culturalsector.
  13. Nationally, the Dutchtourism board NBTC is focusing on encouragingtourists to visitlesser-known, but equally beautiful, parts of the Netherlands, an aim that was outlined in its Perspective2030report in 2018.
  14. Part of the agenda is also to inspireDutch people to traveldomestically which forms part of NBTC’splan to stimulate an industryrevival and salvage the summerholidays.

Contribution of tourism in Amsterdam

  1. According to a study by SEOEconomicBureau, tourism in Amsterdam is growingfaster and it contributes2.7 billioneuros to the prosperity of the Dutchcapital
  2. Amsterdamreceives about 18millionvisitors per year.
  3. On average each visitorspends242euros per visit, that’s a total of about 6.3 billioneuros
  4. After costs are deducted, an amount of 2.7 billion euros is left that contributes to the prosperity of the city
  5. This money goes into the wallets of retailers, tourismcompanies, and their employees – who in turn use money in other stores, cafes and restaurants, keeping the moneymoving through Amsterdam.
  6. Tourismaccounts for around 4.5% of the Amsterdameconomy.
  7. Since2007, jobs in Amsterdam’stourism sector increased by around 33% to 61,000 around11% of the totaljobs in the city
  8. 75% of these jobs are for 12 hours per week or more.
  9. As of 2018, there were  69,195jobs in the tourismindustry in Amsterdam
  10. This is an increase from the 65,609jobsreached in 2017 and the highestnumberreached since 2010.
  11. In 2019, the Amsterdamtourismsector accounted for 69,424 jobs
  12. In Amsterdam, 1 out of 9 jobs in Amsterdam is in the tourismsector.
  13. Almost four out of tentourists that travelled to the Netherlands in 2017visitedAmsterdam.

Tourism Industry Insight

  1. Amsterdam has joined more than 20 other Europeancities to advocatestricterrules on vacation-rentalplatforms at the EuropeanCommission and in the EuropeanParliament.
  2. Amsterdam is investingthousands of euros in attractingtourists but “the right kind of tourists”.
  3. In the firstcampaign for 2021, the city has allocated a €100,000fund to attracttouristsinterested in visiting the city by advertising the city’sstreetart; the over-100-metersA’DAM Tower’shydraulicswing which is the highestswing in Europe and the cityencouragestourists to fish for plastic to cleanupcanals.
  4. Citycouncillors have welcomed the goal of establishingrespectfultourism in Amsterdam while increasingpolicing and on-the-spotfines for inappropriatebehaviour
  5. According to Dennis Boutkan, the PvdALabour party councillor, this goalaligns with the city’svision that “visitors are welcome but not at any price”.

Other tourist-related trends and facts

  1. Cannabis joints may be legal in Amsterdam, but smokingtobacco has been banned in cafes and restaurants since 2008
  2. People are also prohibited from smoking in all trains, stations, and waitingareas. If anyone is caught by authorities, he/she is expected to pay a fine of €25 or more.
  3. There are more than 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam, many of which visitors can stay in instead of a typicalhotel.
  4. The Rijksmuseumholds more than 8,000art and historicalobjects on display. Yearly, 2+ million peopleexplore it, making it the Netherlands’mostvisitedmuseum.
  5. TheAmsterdamFlowerMarket (Bloemenmarkt) is the only floatingflowermarket in the world, and visitors can explore the mostfragrant and vibrantplace in the DutchcapitalMonday through Saturday.
  6. AlbertCuypmarkt is the largestoutdoormarket in Europe where visitors can find anything from exoticfruits, flowers, and fish to books, leathergoods, and clothing
  7. Amsterdam is the only city in the world with a medievalcentre that is a RedLightDistrict.
  8. One of the mostpopularthings to do in Amsterdam is to go on a canalcruise. More than 3 million passengerscruise the waters each year.
  9. Amsterdam also has more bridges than Venice. There are only around400bridges in Venice, but Amsterdam has 1281bridges.
  10. Another unique attraction on the Amsterdamwaterways is a catboat, De Poezenboot – La Barca dei Gatti. This is an animalshelter and a gift shop wherevisitors can adopt a cat.
  11. Amsterdam is rated as the second most bike-friendly city in the world. Copenhagen, Denmark is the first.
  12. Visitors who are looking for a coffee and pastry should visit a koffiehuis, not a coffeeshop. In Amsterdam, a coffee shop for cannabis, while a koffiehuis is to go for a morningdose of caffeine.
  13. It is illegal to enter a coffeeshop in Amsterdam for youngstersunder18years of age.
  14. The Netherlands is known for its manyvarieties of deliciouscheese. Famouscheesesoriginating in the Netherlands include OldAmsterdam, Edam and Gouda.
  15. Amsterdam Holland Pass” is a pre-paidcitypass and discountcardallowingfree access to many top museums, attractions, activities and citysightseeing in Amsterdam and other majorcities in theNetherlands.
  16. The “I Amsterdam City Card” is the “officialcitypre-paidpass and discountcardallowingfreeaccess to many topmuseums. Furthermore, it gives discounts on attractions and activities in Amsterdam
  17. A separatefreepublictransportticket is included to use the publictransportsystem in Amsterdam.
  18. CombinationDeal is a unique way to savemoney on manytopmuseums and attractions in Amsterdam and even more throughouttheNetherlands. So the more ticketsvisitorscombine, the moremoney they can save.
  19. The‘Museumkaart’ is a personalmuseumpass, valid for one year for Dutchresidents in more than 350 museums in the Netherlands but now for tourists, the temporaryMuseumcard is only admissible with 5 museumvisits for a maximum of 31 days.
  20. Visitors can enjoy a live virtual webcam tour around Amsterdam by viewing top-rated streaming live Amsterdam webcams.