Why More People Are Visiting Denmark Than Ever Before

Copenhagen Street and City View, Christianshavn
Photo: Michael Barrow/Getty Images

Denmark is preparing to welcome a record number of tourists this year. And, despite warnings of overtourism, the country has no plans to slow down.

Within three years, Denmark is expected to have enough hotel beds to accommodate up to 10 million tourists, almost twice the country’s population, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this year, Denmark came in fourth in Intrepid Travel's ranking of "destinations suffering overtourism" based on tourists per head of population. In 2017, the country had more than 28 million tourists and only 5.8 million residents.

Hotel occupancy rates currently hover around 80 percent. According to Bloomberg, the city of Copenhagen is expected to add an additional 8,000 hotel rooms within the next four years. Tourism to the city is expect to increase almost four percent every year until 2020.

This year’s record-breaking numbers are due, in part, to unseasonably warm weather in the early part of year and Copenhagen’s hosting of the ice hockey World Cup in May.

Wonderful Copenhagen, the city’s tourism board, points to architecture, design, sustainability, diversity, and the city’s likeness to a “modern fairy tale” as the reasons for visitors to stay.

But the tourism boom could also be due to Copenhagen’s growing status as a culinary destination. For years, Noma has been regarded as the best restaurant in the world for its revival of Nordic cuisine. (It won the honor four times by Restaurant Magazine.) The restaurant reopened earlier this year as Noma 2.0. The hype from the restaurant has created demand for several different food tours around the city.

For fans of all things cozy, Denmark is a must-visit destination. Earlier this year, the country applied for hygge, the Danish concept of taking pleasure in ordinary moments, to receive UNESCO World Heritage status.

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