HOUSE OF SCANDINAVIA
Copenhagen readies for the Lonely Planet bump
Food, architecture, transportation and design are just a few of the factors that saw the Danish capital voted as this year’s top destination by Lonely Planet. To be chosen by the prestigious publication is not only a stamp of approval, but will most likely push visitor numbers and hence local revenues significantly as a result.
“Every year, Lonely Planet recommends the best destinations, journeys and experiences for the coming year. We aim to highlight places that are possibly in some cases surprising destinations, that people might not have thought of going to before, or that people should go to right now,” says Tom Hall, Editorial Director at Lonely Planet. “It’s actually the only time of year when we tell people that this is where they really should go, rather than just encouraging them to travel more.”
For Hall and his colleagues, although several criteria are used, food has taken on an increasingly high importance for travelers in recent years.
“The reasons we chose Copenhagen were for the great things that are going on at the moment. Clearly, food is a very big deal across the whole region, but in Copenhagen at the moment it feels that there’s something special going on that is slightly different from what you might see as a celebration of the food scene in other cities – Yes, there are many restaurants with Michelin stars, but there are also a lot that are neither as expensive nor as difficult to secure a reservation at as in other cities. You can experience this New Nordic cuisine pretty much regardless of what your budget is.”
It’s not only food that has driven the development however. Danish values, emphasis on sustainability and remarkable design and architecture have all played a role.
“We also chose Copenhagen, because it feels like it’s leading the way in sustainability. It’s a fantastic city to cycle around – sustainable transport is part of people’s everyday lives. Also it’s interesting because of its architecture and the new projects going on all the time – probably the best example is Amager Bakke, which a fabulous example of what you can do with a power station with its ski slopes, and hiking trails,” says keen cyclist Hall.
Although it’s impossible to quantify exactly the influence being voted Lonely Planet’s number one city to visit has on tourism numbers, Hall says that they can see marked increases in internet searches as well as anecdotal evidence from the cities themselves, according to Hall.
The award was the culmination of growing international recognition of how the capital has developed, as well as the hard work done by the Danish tourist board. And so far, the indications suggest that Copenhagen will also experience such a bump.
“The Lonely Planet announcement is a big cadeau. It underlines that Copenhagen is a city with a global appeal worth visiting throughout the year, says Dennis Englund, Market Director US & UK, VisitDenmark. “We’re proud that Lonely Planet has highlighted a multitude of quality experiences and we have already experienced a +10% increase in American visitors to Denmark in January compared to January 2018.”