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27th Mar 2019

Amsterdam to ban tours of the Red Light District from 2020

They've concerns for sex workers being treated like tourist attractions.

Denise Curtin

An end to one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

Amsterdam’s city government has announced that tours of the Red Light District will cease from 2020 onwards following concerns over sex workers being treated as tourist attractions.

“We do not consider it appropriate for tourists to leer at sex workers,” city alderman Udo Kock, who proposed the bill, said in a statement.

The ban won’t go into effect until 2020 in order to give tour companies time to wind down their businesses.

Until then, measures have been put in place to make sure tour groups visiting the Red Light District are of small size (20 or less) and all operators must have formal licenses following complaints from Dutch residents about the growth in footfall through the neighbourhood in recent times.

Many travel companies are applauding the decision by the city government saying that this move is spurring a bigger conversation about what happens when humans are treated like art to “gawk at”.