The increase in both the number of overnight stays and number of tourists aligns well with Denmark's national tourism strategy for 2025: increasing the number of overnight stays by 17 million, and generating a revenue of 140 billion Danish kroner. In 2018, the revenue of the tourism industry reached 132.5 billion Danish kroner, most of which were generated in the municipality of Copenhagen. Furthermore, 169 thousand jobs were created within the industry. Needless to say, the tourism industry plays an important role in terms of both economic development and employment in Denmark.
Among the Nordic countries, Denmark attracts the most tourists by far. Since 2008, 45 percent of all overnight stays in the Nordics were spent in Denmark. In 2019, most tourists stayed in holiday houses in the Region of Southern Denmark, while hotels were the most popular accommodation type in the Capital Region. The largest share of tourists visited Denmark to experience the coast and nature, and aside from domestic tourists, German travelers paid the most visits to the country.
Despite the industry’s great prospects for 2020, the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent lockdown of the country put an immediate stop to the tourist boom. While over one million tourists visited Denmark in April 2019, only 89 thousand tourists did so in the same month of 2020. Consequently, many businesses in the tourism industry suffered both from fewer guests and revenue losses. Not only did the coronavirus crisis provoke changes within the industry, it also seems to change the travel habits of Danes. When asked to reflect on how the coronavirus crisis might affect future holidays, vacationing more in Denmark and flying less seemed to be two possible scenarios.