Amsterdam to Ban Tourist Tours in Red-Light District

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Amsterdam to Ban Tourist Tours in Red-Light District

Amsterdam is set to ban guided tourist tours of its notorious red-light district starting 2020, in a bid to address overcrowding and enhance working conditions for prostitutes in the area.

Before being totally banned as of January 1st, the tours, which currently run until 23:00, will not be allowed to take place after 19:00 starting April 1.

“We are banning tours that take visitors along sex workers’ windows, not only because we want to prevent overcrowding in the red-light district, but also because it is not respectful to sex workers,” Udo Kock, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It is outdated to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction,” he noted.

The statement noted that people and local businesses in the red-light district “experience disturbances caused by groups of tourists”, adding that 80 percent of the prostitutes consulted said that the tours “had a negative effect on their business.”

“In addition, sex workers still experience severe problems with participants of guided tours, such as rude behavior and unwanted photographs,” the authorities said.