Travel and tourism in Denmark - statistics & facts
Denmark —located in Northern Europe— is composed of the Jutland peninsula and over 400 surrounding islands. Politically, it is part of the Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish realm, which also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark, despite being the smallest country in Scandinavia, constitutes the region’s largest tourism market. In 2020, Danish lodgings accounted for six out of ten overnight stays booked by international tourists in the Nordic countries. However, the impact of COVID-19 was well reflected in the total volume of international overnight visitor arrivals registered in the country that year. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of arrivals by inbound tourists plunged from nearly 14.8 million to less than six million, which was by a wide margin the lowest figure recorded since 2010.
Main markets for inbound tourism
Germany is the only country to share an immediate border with Denmark. However, one of its closest major foreign cities is the Swedish Malmö, which is connected to the Danish capital by the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe: the Øresund Bridge. Each year, more than 45 thousand passenger trains pass through this international crossing point. It was only in 2020 that the volume of passenger rail transport dropped below that number to approximately 41.3 thousand. As a result, these two countries are among the top five international markets for tourism in Denmark.
What is the impact of tourism on the Danish economy?
Before the pandemic, the tourism sector in Denmark was generating a revenue of approximately 130 billion Danish kroner (DKK) each year (around 20 billion U.S. dollars at the time), with hotel establishments accounting for approximately 15 million DKK of this revenue. Furthermore, the contribution of tourism to the country’s job market (881638) reached its highest at the end of the 2010s, before dropping as a result of COVID-19. On March 1, 2022, the country lifted major travel restrictions like the vaccine or test requirements for travelers from other EU countries as well as easing the rules for tourists from outside the European Union. With this move, the tourism sector in Denmark can expect an upturn from the COVID-19 blow experienced in the previous two years.
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Ana M. López
Research expert covering travel, tourism and hospitality