Tourism

“Sex workers are not monkeys”: Amsterdam to ban tours through iconic Red Light District

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The Netherlands is set to ban tours through one of Amsterdam’s most visited tourist attractions.

Tours of the Red Light District in Amsterdam are set to be banned, as of 1 January 2020, The Guardian reported, in response to the municipality announcing stricter rules for the rest of the centre.

Amsterdam’s city government has cited concerns over sex workers being treated as a tourist attraction with regards to the region’s closure.

Red Light District doors in Amsterdam - Netherlands
Rough estimates for the Red Light District say more than 5,500 sex workers are employed per year, with around 200,000 prostitute visits per year.

“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,” Vera Al, spokesperson for Amsterdam city council said.

“Sex workers are not monkeys to be treated as a tourist attraction.”

“A survey we conducted showed that 80 per cent of sex workers say gawking tourists are bad for their business,” Al said.

It is reported that more than 1,000 guided tours occur per week through the Red Light District.

The measure is the latest in a string of plans to reduce the nuisance caused by too many tourists in the oldest part of the city, which locals have said is making it impossible to live there, Dutch News reports.

“It is no longer acceptable in this age to see sex workers as a tourist attraction,” city councillor Udo Kock said.

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