Restrictions, Bans Hit Walking Tours

Last Updated April 04, 2019

As walking tours continue to surge in popularity around the world, we’re beginning to see a little frustration here and there. While the vast majority of tours are incredibly conscious of their neighbors, new rules are starting to spring up. In Amsterdam, they’re even doing outright bans.

One of the first food tours I ever took was the Pike Place Market Tour with Savor Seattle Food Tours. It’s iconic, and obviously I loved it, but I learned a lot about the business that day as well.  We started the tour in a pretty quiet hallway, but our guide already had a tucked away spot for us to corral into. “We want to respect the other visitors to the market by impeding traffic as little as possible,” I remember her saying. Again, there really wasn’t anybody in sight, but it set the right tone for the day.

New Rules in Charleston

The South Carolina city may get a new law prohibiting walking tours of any size from blocking sidewalks or roadways. In this article, a city official says groups are often seem blocking walking routes, or even in the line of traffic. That last one seems rather questionable to me, but hey, stranger things have happened. If the rules take affect, hefty fines await any tour group blocking traffic, pedestrian or not.

The Red Light in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has completely banned some tours altogether. In their famous red light district, no walking tours are allowed after 7:00pm. The rule is meant to keep the crowd size down which, as this article points out, can become jam packed. The flip side is tourists may no longer have access to locals who can best pass along the rules meant to keep the workers in this area safe.

Your Thoughts

For your event or tour, what are the steps you take to ensure the safety of your guests, but also good vibes with your neighbours? Tell us in the comments below, and share if your community is talking about rule changes.


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