What are the negative effects of noise pollution

Redakteur: Anna Kollmer                        Tour Guide Systems, Industry information

Noise is everywhere and noise pollution is a major issue of our time. Constant noise can have a negative impact on a person’s well-being, mind and body. 30 km/h zones are set up (as traffic noise is a major contributor) and flying bans are instituted at airports for this purpose.


Silent surfaces and sound insulation walls are constructed to overcome noise. However, often it might simply be an unwanted tenant playing music too loudly. Noise is perceived as pain at above 140 dB.

But at what point does sound become noise?

Everyone perceives noise differently. Many people love loud music, while others simply prefer background sound. Basically, noise pollution refers to the situation when an activity is interrupted because of noise or when activities are prevented by noise. Many people react particularly sensitively if communication is made more difficult or impaired, for instance if people at a neighbouring table are speaking too loudly or if the music in a club is too loud to talk over.

Noise needs to be combated – the European Commission is tackling it

Often, a number of tour groups with tour guides converge in a relatively small space at tourist hotspots in towns and cities. Many guides only use their loud voices, while others rely on a small portable loudspeaker with a microphone on their belt. The “shouting” of guides and the use of loudspeakers with microphones creates considerable background noise – the groups interfere with each other. Every guide wants to be heard and understood or answer questions.

Amsterdam is introducing rules and permits for guided tours – other European cities are expected to follow.

Amsterdam was the first European city to introduce detailed regulations in 2017. They currently apply to the red light district in Amsterdam. The size of groups is to be restricted and the participants should behave appropriately to maintain the district as an area worth living in. This makes it more difficult for tour guides to offer guided tours to tourists, as many rules are not that easy to follow. By way of example:

  • Loudspeakers and megaphones are not permitted, and neither is shouting
  • Guides who offer guided tours to groups of 4 people or more require a permit to enter the district
  • Guides accompanying groups of 4 people of more also need a permit to enter the district
  • Guided tours for groups of more than 20 people are not permitted

A permit currently costs €111.40 and is valid for one year.

The solution: A tour guide system from BMS Audio

The guide carries a transmitter with microphone around the neck and each guest is given a lightweight and inconspicuous receiver. Every guest can listen to what the guide says through connected headsets. The guide then speaks at a normal volume, protects his voice and the guests follow everything he says. A tour guide system means that you do not need a loudspeaker or megaphone. Our systems are easy to operate, for example when forming individual groups or for centralised channel changeover.

We would recommend our TOM-Audio TG-101 if you would like to have a dialogue with your group – currently the only tour guide system with dialogue functionality on the market. Controlled activation of the dialogue function makes this possible.

Feel free to download our guide to tour guide systems . See for yourself by taking a look at our reference database with over 3000 entries or read our exciting Success Stories.

Source: https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/business/rules-permit-tours/





Noise pollution on guided tours
Tour guide system TOM-Audio TG-101
Tour guide system TOM-Audio TG-100