Tourism Tax in Amsterdam Causing Cruise Lines to Skip City

As a result of a new tourist tax implemented by the local government in Amsterdam, some cruise lines are removing the popular tourist destination from their itineraries.

According to The Express, the €8 tourist tax (around $9 in the United States) is applied to travelers arriving by cruise and who stay in the city for less than 24 hours. For any passengers that stay over one day, they will be charged €16.

In response to the new tax, thousands of passengers scheduled to sail in 2019 and 2020 could find their vacations drastically altered as cruise lines are favoring other ports of call in The Netherlands.

One cruise line standing against the tax is MSC Cruises, which has shifted overnight calls from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and warned that the tourism industry in the city would be impacted by the drop in cruise passenger arrivals.

“We decided to pull our business in 2019 and as a result, Amsterdam city stands to lose between €50-100 per passenger in respect of potential spend,” MSC Cruises port development head Gianluca Suprani said.

Other companies such as Cruise and Maritime Voyages have also announced their 2019 and 2020 port calls to Amsterdam will now be moved to Rotterdam, with an estimated 50,000 passengers likely to be affected.

“The local politicians have failed to acknowledge or understand that the cruise industry plans their budgets two to three years ahead and have been unwilling to look into a proper implementation schedule,” Cruise and Maritime Voyages CEO Christian Verhounig said. “The late introduction of these new and un-phased charges are therefore not budgeted and simply cannot be absorbed.”

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