Posted on: July 12, 2017
The number of organised tours in the Red Light District has grown quite a bit in the past few years. Amsterdam’s Red Light District (locally known as “De Wallen“) is a popular area because it’s unique area in the world. It’s the oldest & most fascinating part of Amsterdam and contains typical Dutch architecture, several churches, a Buddhistic temple, cannabis shops, stock exchange, restaurants, bars, many window brothels, prostitutes and much more. But the Red Light District of Amsterdam is not just a tourist attraction; people also live and work there, and that has to be respected. New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules for tour organisations where made by the local government together with the help of tour guides.
A select group of tour companies (us included), neighbourhood residents, interest groups and the local government have recently joined forces to ensure that the growth in interest in the Red Light District develops on the right track. They want to reduce the inconvenience that some tour companies cause and wish to maintain the industry’s good reputation as a hallmark of Amsterdam. For this reason we have agreed on new Amsterdam Red Light District rules created by the local government that stipulates how to carry out tours in this unique part of Holland’s capital. We’re a very proud member of the Amsterdam Red Light District tours agreement, sanctioned by the City of Amsterdam.
One of the goals of these new Amsterdam Red Light District Rules is to keep the area nice and liveable.
Exclusive members (inclusive us) of the Amsterdam Red Light District Tours agreement, sanctioned by the local government.
The picture above contains a big white-board with all the signatures of the companies/people who created and agreed to the new guidelines and Amsterdam Red Light District rules. The board is held by among others: Chairman of the City Centre of Amsterdam Boudewijn van Oranje (with glasses on the right) & alderman and the deputy major of Amsterdam Kajsa Ollongren (center, wearing the light brown coat). We’re at the top; fourth row.
You can read about the new guidelines on Red Light District tours in Amsterdam in this article.
The City of Amsterdam asks that all tour companies working in the Red Light District comply to some ground rules. By working together they can keep the Red Light District liveable and attractive for residents, business owners, prostitutes and visitors alike.
The image below shows the area where the new rules apply. The streets where groups aren’t allowed to stand still anymore are marked in dark red.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District and Dam Square.
Yes, some tour companies or individual tour guides did not agree to these new Amsterdam Red Light District rules. For example: Sandemans New Europe Tours a.k.a Sandemans New Amsterdam Tours. Most likely this company did not want to sign the government’s new rules because it uses a business model that requires more than 25 or 30 attendees per tour guide. This creates a lot of irritations for everyone associated with the Red Light District including the prostitutes. It is a pity that Sandemans New Europe Tours (and some other companies) do not care about the area and the people in it. The City of Amsterdam contacted this company several times trying to convince them, but repeatedly they refused.
There are currently about 36 organizations (including us) that agreed with these new Amsterdam Red Light District Rules and the City of Amsterdam is working hard to convince (new) tour operators to follow these rules too.
That’s a nice Dutch initiative. Sounds like good teamwork between local government, companies and residents.