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American tourists flocking to Copenhagen

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American tourists flocking to Copenhagen
The number of overnight stays and international passengers are both up sharply in the first quarter of 2016. Photo:
14:33 CEST+02:00
A number of new low-price flight options have given the Danish capital a major tourism boost.
In the first quarter of 2016, the number of international guests who flew to Copenhagen Airport increased by 27 percent, according to a report in Jyllands-Posten
 
That's the biggest growth rate in years and the airport's CEO said it is largely spurred by cheaper flight options. 
 
“Denmark has moved up the list of interesting destinations for many people now that we have opened up new flight routes,” Thomas Woldbye told Jyllands-Posten. 
 
Woldbye said that new routes from budget carriers like Ryanair, EasyJet, Norwegian and Wizz Air are driving forces behind the increase. 
 
American tourists are also taking advantage of a slew of new direct flight options from both SAS and Norwegian. Over the past three years, Norwegian has added flights to New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas and Boston while SAS has increased the frequency of its flights from both San Francisco and New York and also added a direct route from Boston. 
 
 
The number of overnight stays by American tourists has also jumped by 20 percent in the first quarter of the year, continuing the Danish capital's success from 2015
 
“Direct routes from strategically important markets are essential for continued tourism growth, whether that is traditional holiday guests, cruise ship passengers or convention participants. We can see that in the number of tourists coming from the US, where we have marketed ourselves as a destination in connection with the new routes,” Mikke Aarø-Hansen, the head of tourism board Wonderful Copenhagen, told Jyllands-Posten. 
 
Local shops, restaurants and attractions are also benefiting from the increase, as American tourists are among those with the loosest grip on their wallets, spending an average of 1,430 kroner ($214, €192) per day.  
 
Dorte Krak, the CEO of the Arp-Hansen Hotel Group, which owns 12 hotels in Copenhagen, said that the numbers of British and Italian guests have also risen sharply. 
 
“Accessibility by plane and other forms of transport are completely essential. Copenhagen and Denmark have a lot to offer but the tourists need to be able to get here easily and cheaply,” she told Jyllands-Posten. 
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