Banned: Amsterdam’s Red-light District tours

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 27 March 2019

Amsterdam will be banning all tours to its infamous Red-light District from 1 January 2020.

According to the Dutch News, ‘More than 1,000 organised groups visit Oudekerksplein, the hub of the red light district, each week, with a peak of 28 tours an hour in the early evening.’

Red-light District, Amsterdam. Image credit: Marcus Loke

Reports indicate that 80% of the sex workers in the area have complained that the number of tourists in the area is hurting their business, while the city’s deputy minister Udo Kock (who proposed the bill to ban the tours) said in a statement, ‘We do not consider it appropriate for tourists to leer at sex workers.’

While tours will still be operational until the end of 2019, certain restrictions have been placed on tour groups. In response to overcrowding group sizes, both within the Red-light District and in other areas, within the old city have been limited to a maximum of 15. Those caught breaking the rules without proper permits can expect a fine of €190 (about R3,000).

‘A guide who offers tours illegally, or once again violates the rules after warning, can count on a fine of 190 euros. With there violations, the exemption is temporarily withdrawn. If the guide commits a violation again after he has been released, this will be definitively withdrawn. If a guide from a certain company receives a fine for the second time, the company for which he works will receive a penalty of € 2,500 (about R40,800) said a statement from the city’s governing officials.

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