'Ongoing Debate' Continues on Amsterdam Head Tax

Amsterdam Port

A day tourist tax that went into force on January 1, 2019 has contributed to a drop in transit calls to Amsterdam.

“At the moment, with an ongoing debate on over tourism and sustainability, we are currently busy locally with civil servants, politicians, and press to give them facts and figures on cruises,” said Dick de Graaff, director of Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. “To sustain the business, we regularly communicate with the lines when there is news on developments within the city council.”

The tax is a shame for guests looking forward to visiting Amsterdam, as the city’s cruise terminal is centrally located within walking distance of the city center and is only a 20-minute drive from the airport.

“The challenges we face have to do with the public perception of tourism,” de Graaff told Cruise Industry News. “As the cruise ships are visible, they become a symbol of over-tourism. And that is to the contrary,  as cruise passengers count for less than one percent of the total number of visitors to Amsterdam annually. My belief is that ongoing communication with stakeholders will help the business grow sustainably. We understand the public’s concerns.”

Future developments include both shorepower and LNG bunkering.

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