Amsterdam bans tour groups from sex workers’ windows

Amsterdam bans tour groups from sex workers’ windows

The local government in Amsterdam has banned guided tours that take groups past the famed windows in the city’s red light district where visitors watch semi-naked sex workers pose.

The move is the city government’s latest attempt to address over-tourism, protect workers and clean up the Dutch capital’s red light district, which is a magnet for rowdy visitors.

Sex workers are regularly abused and photographed without their consent by members of tour groups, the city said.

“It is disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction,” Amsterdam deputy mayor Victor Everhardt said.

Tourists in Amsterdam’s red light district (Peter Dejong/AP)
Tourists in Amsterdam’s red light district (Peter Dejong/AP)

Tours of the red light district will still be allowed if guides stick to the new restriction, which takes effect in April, and keep the windows off their itineraries.

Some 115 guided tours pass through the district every day.

The city said research has shown that the high number of visitors inconveniences more than half of the residents and businesses in the area.

Banning group tours of the red-light district windows “will help to prevent disruptions for residents and businesses”, Mr Everhardt said.

Amsterdam has for years suffered a negative side from too many people crowding the canal-side streets of the city’s historic heart, which includes the red light district.

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