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Amsterdam Hotel Rates Remain Artificially High

The already exorbitant price of hotel rooms in the Netherlands continues to rise, jumping 2% in the first half of 2014, with Amsterdam hotels remaining among the most expensive in Europe at an average of €142 a night, a 5% increase over the previous year.

Amsterdam hotel owners continue to claim that websites such as Airbnb and AmsterdamEscape, which allow normal Amsterdammers to rent out their properties to tourists, represent unfair competition. Amsterdam City Council have been eager to do the bidding of the hotel lobby, carrying out dramatic dawn raids on properties suspected of harboring tourists.

Of course, Amsterdam hotel rates will continue to rise, and Amsterdam will continue to see tourist numbers drop, for as long as the Amsterdam City Council continue to conspire with big business to keep competition out of the market. The determination, in recent years, to hold back the tide of online change, which is benefitting the economies of pretty much every other city on the planet, is nothing new. Amsterdam has long had severe restrictions on the creation of new hotels, supposedly for environmental reasons but, in reality, creating a lucrative monopoly for existing hotels, while forcing visitors on lower budgets to stay in hotels inconveniently located well outside the center of the city.

For an example of what real competition can do, we only have to look at the city of Rotterdam where, thanks to the opening of new hotels in the city, the average price dropped 5% to ?92 per night, the sort of pricing that, along with the budget airlines, can attract a whole new category of visitor to a city, creating jobs and pumping money into the local economy.

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