'Tourists must have their backs turned to red light district windows', says Amsterdam city council

'Tourists must have their backs turned to red light district windows', says Amsterdam city council
Copyright REUTERS/Yves Herman
By Marta Rodriguez Martinez
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The new rules intend to restrict the number of tourists in the city's old parts.


Guided tours in Amsterdam’s red light district must ensure tourists turn their backs to windows and not photograph prostitutes. These new measures, which are set to start in April, aim to lessen the number of tourists visiting the oldest parts of the city.

"De Wallen is a nice and cozy part of the city, but it's also busy. At the busiest times, 27 groups come to the Oudekerksplein per hour. In order to avoid discomfort from tours with large groups, tour operators will soon need to apply for an exemption," says the new regulation.

The new rules also ban tours with drugs or alcohol and tighten up the “conditions for bike and Segway tours,” said a Dutch news website. Guided tours will also have to end before 11 p.m. and tourists will not be allowed to stand in bridges or in front of store entrances during working hours.

Before a guided visit starts, the guide will have to remind tourists to respect the neighborhood, businessmen, and sex workers.

The Parool said the city is currently home to 280 shops targeting tourists. 

Tour companies that do not respect the new rules or don’t have the required licenses will be heavily fined, said Amsterdam’s city council.

The laws will apply to walking or Segway groups of five or more people. Visits of more than 20 people will be banned. 

The new rules also form part of a deal that tourism companies voluntarily signed with the city to improve the relationship between tourists and neighbours of the famous district. 

More than 3,000 locals live in De Wallen and the neighborhood has more than 400 prostitution businesses. More than 200,000 tourists visit the area annually according to a tourism website

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