Published on : Friday, August 24, 2018
Denmark is all set to welcome a record number of tourists this year. Its life philosophy of “hygge” comfort, a world-famous foodie scene and a wildly popular Nordic noir film industry are among the attractions luring tourists. The Danish Chamber of Commerce estimates that at the current rate, hotels in the country will respond to the influx by providing enough beds to accommodate 10 million tourists by 2021, which is almost twice Denmark’s population.
Given the buzz around visiting Denmark and with hotel occupancy rates already around 80 percent, the industry is planning to raise supply considerably to accommodate even more tourists. And as banks and other businesses move into cheaper accommodation, hotels are popping up in prime locations everywhere. Examples include a five-star waterfront Hilton that is due to replace the local headquarters of the biggest Nordic bank, Nordea. At the other end of the scale, the budget chain Wakeup is adding hundreds of rooms across the city.
In all, there’ll be about 8,000 more rooms over the next four years, raising supply at a rate of around 11 percent per year (in contrast, a total of 6,500 rooms were added in the previous 17-year period).
The Copenhagen tourism board, Wonderful Copenhagen, is forecasting an annual growth rate in visitors of 3.9 percent, raising projected hotel stays to around 7.58 million a year by 2021.
The expected increase in demand may fall short of supply. But Lars Ramme Nielsen, head of tourism at the Danish Chamber of Commerce, says giving customers more choice is well worth the risk, given that a standard room in an average hotel today can cost more than $250 per night.
With 350 kilometers of dedicated paths and lanes, Copenhagen is considered the most bike-friendly city in the world. About a third of its citizens cycle to work regularly, and rent-a-bike businesses have multiplied.
Denmark’s Finance Minister Kristian Jensen is now trying to add at least one more tourist by asking Trish Regan, a Fox Business Network anchor who characterized the country as a socialist dystopia, to visit Copenhagen. As of Friday she hadn’t replied, the minister said.
“I don’t think the tourists realize how hardcore cycling in Copenhagen is,” said Christian Vas, 38, a Hungarian waiter who drives a typical Christiania cargo bike and who made the city his home four years ago.