Would British tourists be less likely to visit Amsterdam if the city’s famous red light district moves?

Amsterdam authorities recently announced that sex workers in the well-known Red Light district of Amsterdam will be relocated to multi-storey ‘erotic centre’ outside of the city centre to help reduce the impact of tourism on Amsterdam locals.

However, while 35% of Amsterdam locals support the move, just over a quarter (27%) oppose it. In fact, 21% think moving it will have the opposite effect, worsening the impact of tourism in the area.

One in five (21%) British adults, aware of the Red Light district, also think the move is a bad idea, with 53% of these individuals saying that the Red Light district is part of Amsterdam’s culture. Moreover, two fifths (39%) of those who think the move is a bad idea say it will erase an important part of Amsterdam’s history.

In their reasoning, Brits also consider the sex workers who might have to move and the Dutch residents alike. More than a third (36%) who think the move is a bad idea say sex workers should have the right to choose where they work, and a similar proportion (35%) say tourists can still visit the Red Light district and be respectful to Dutch locals.

Most concerningly 33% of Brits who think it’s bad idea to move sex workers, say it will stop tourists visiting Amsterdam. Indeed, more than one in ten (11%) of all British adults aware of the Red Light district would be less likely to visit if the relocation of sex workers goes ahead. This could mean a loss of 5.7 million British tourists visiting Amsterdam. Although, a slightly higher proportion (15%) say they’d be more likely to go, raising questions over whether the move will change anything for Amsterdam locals at all.

Click here to see the UK data tables.

Click here to see the Netherlands data tables.

The research was conducted by Opinium Amsterdam, Opinium’s European HQ, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK Adults and 1,241 Dutch adults (aged 18+). To request a copy of the data tables or if you would like to enquire about a research project, please contact