International tourists flock to Copenhagen for Danish Christmas hygge

The Local Denmark
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International tourists flock to Copenhagen for Danish Christmas hygge
Christmas 2018 at Tivoli. Photo: Claus Bjørn Larsen/Tivoli Gardens

American and British tourists are strongly drawn to Copenhagen during the Christmas season, not least to iconic amusement park Tivoli.


Tourists are flocking to Copenhagen during the Christmas season. The number of British and American tourists alone who visit Copenhagen in December has more than doubled since 2010, writes

“In December we have 420,000 overnight stays in the capital region. That’s an increase of 74 percent since 2010,” said Sune K. Jensen, head of the tourism section at the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

That includes 57,000 Brits and 30,500 Americans now paying a visit to the capital in December, representing a doubling in visitor numbers for both nationalities over eight years. The trend, according to Tivoli, reflects Denmark’s high international rankings and fame as the home of hygge.

“Last December we had over one million visitors. A third of them were tourists, and that is a significant increase. What we’re good at marketing ourselves on in Denmark is hygge. This is a big hit with tourists,” said Dorthe Weinkouff Barsøe, vice president of branding and communications at Tivoli.

READ ALSO: It's official: 'hygge' is now an English word

Barsøe said that the amusement park has benefitted from Denmark’s prominence on several international platforms, including Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and Time Magazine, where Tivoli has been talked about in glowing terms.

In total, the number of international overnight stays in Denmark during December has increased by 39 percent over the past eight years.

According to DI’s calculations, based on tourists’ average daily consumption patterns, the increase in overnight stays is equivalent to increased revenue of 470 million kroner.

This increase has been noticed at Strömma Denmark, which operates sightseeing busses and canal tours in Aarhus and Copenhagen.

“In 2010 our ticket shops were closed in December, whereas today they’re open and very profitable, particular at weekends. That’s because we adapt to the demand, which has increased very clearly in step with the growing number of tourists who visit Denmark at Christmas time,” said Strömma Denmark CEO Mads Vestergaard Olesen.

Although the number of overnight stays has increased all across the country, Jensen said it is particularly the capital that attracts tourists.

He expects this increase to continue – particularly given that Copenhagen recently made headlines when it was named the world’s top city to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet.

Tivoli expects the same.

“2019 will be a big year for tourism to Denmark. I have no doubt about that, but we’ll have to work hard to get there. We must continue our efforts to make Denmark a favourite destination,” Barsøe said.

SEE ALSO: IN PICTURES: Christmas in Tivoli


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