Airbnb says ban on house sharing in Amsterdam’s old town is “damaging”

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Airbnb on Friday accused the city of Amsterdam of having acted illegally after banning vacation rentals in its central old town, but said it wanted to work with authorities to ensure the survival of its house sharing business in the Dutch capital.

The municipality announced Thursday that it would ban all vacation rentals in three areas that make up the central ring of the Amsterdam canals, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the other districts of the Dutch capital, holiday rentals will only be authorized with a special permit, and up to 30 days per year, for groups of up to four people.

Airbnb Netherlands said on Friday that it was “deeply concerned that the proposals are illegal and violate the human rights of local residents”.

“We remain eager to work with Amsterdam to support long-term solutions for home sharing – rather than short-term fixes that are confusing and harm residents and small businesses,” the company said.

Critics have long complained that the increase in Airbnb-style tourist rentals has torn the soul from the center of Europe’s most popular tourist cities, from Edinburgh to Barcelona.

Airbnb said that 95% of its listings in Amsterdam were outside the prohibited area.

The Amsterdam city council, on the left, has spoken out on reducing mass tourism and what it describes as the nuisance caused by tourists in the old city center.

The city says that one in 15 accommodation in all of Amsterdam appears on online rental platforms and that the increase in these rentals has “an increasing negative influence on the quality of life” in certain districts of Amsterdam .

Source: Reuters

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