Although Conchita Wurst was crowned Eurovision winner five months ago, the event continues to cast a long shadow over Copenhagen. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
Following a long line of revelations about the enormous overspending at the Eurovision song contest in May, Wonderful Copenhagen is now facing disputed allegations that it vastly overstated the event's impact on local tourism.
According to reporting from Metroxpress, Wonderful Copenhagen claimed that the song contest brought an additional 68,000 overnight stays to the city while figures from the hotel and tourist industry association Horesta show that Eurovision only gave 3,000 extra overnight stays.
“It was 7.6 percent higher than the other weeks in May. How many came here because of Eurovision is hard to say. People were also here for reasons other than Eurovision,” Horesta spokeswoman Katia Østergaard told Metroxpress.
Metroxpress reported that, according to Horesta, there there were 42,000 overnight stays in Copenhagen during the week of Eurovision, compared to 39,000 in May’s other months. Following the Metroxpress report, however, Horesta countered that the newspaper's calculations were faulty and that the 42,000 figure actually represented the additional stays created by Eurovision.
But several Copenhagen hotels also reported that they were far from sold out during the Eurovision event and the city's most popular tourist attractions told Metroxpress that they did not experience a significant boost from the singing contest.
"We didn't have more visitors in the museum's collections or exhibitions as a result of Eurovision," the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) told Metroxpress. The newspaper said that Tivoli, the Blue Planet and the Royal Theatre had a similar response.
The discrepancies did not sit well with Copenhagen City Council member Rasmus Jarlov.
“This indicates that the tourist organisation has used grossly inflated figures. It is strongly criticizable that they have misled the public and tricked people by making it look like a lot of tourists came to town,” Jarlov told Metroxpress.