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67% of local citizens in Copenhagen experience no problems with the city’s tourism. Compared to the norm of other selected European cities, local citizens experience far less tourism-related problems in Copenhagen, and overall Copenhageners are positive about welcoming even more visitors to Copenhagen. As many as 81% of locals state that Copenhagen should continue to be promoted to attract more visitors. However, when local citizens are asked if they think their own neighborhood can accommodate more visitors, only 38% believe this. Likewise when locals are asked if they themselves wish for more visitors to come to Copenhagen, the majority (46%) are neutral whilst 38% agree and 16% disagrees. This indicates that local citizens overall are positive about welcoming more visitors to the city in general, but when it becomes more personal, as in "more visitors to their neighborhood”  or "whether they themselves wish for more visitors"the local residents are more reluctant.

Source: 'Resident Sentiment Index' and 'Københavns DNA og fremtidige potentialer'

More city centre locals experience tourism-related problems

The inner city of Copenhagen – including the iconic areas of Nyhavn and Christianshavn - attract significantly more tourists than other parts of Copenhagen. Throughout the year 15% of city centre’s locals experience tourism-related problems, 32% experience problems sometimes. While residents in the city centre experience more problems than other parts of Copenhagen, over 50% of city centre locals don’t experience any problems.

Source: Averaged results based on the 'Resident Sentiment Index' and 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer'

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Percentage of Copenhageners who feel the neighborhood(s) have room for more visitors
Locals experiencing:
No problems
Problems sometimes
Problems (almost) all year
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% of visitors
% of locals
% - No problems
% - Problems sometimes
% - Problems (almost) all year
% feel has room for more

Boosting city pride through the eyes of visitors

Experiencing Copenhagen through the eyes of visitors makes 83% of locals feel proud of their city.

Source: 'Resident Sentiment Index'

Tourism - a driver to local economy

73% of Copenhagen residents recognise a positive tourism impact on economy.

Source: 'Resident Sentiment Index'

Visitors contribute to a lively city

Visitors to Copenhagen equals more money spent in shops and restaurants, more lively streets and more activities on offer for everyone to enjoy. 66% perceive tourism as having a positive impact on the overall city atmosphere and 62% state that tourism positively influences the range and diversity of activities on offer.

Source: 'Resident Sentiment Index'

The challenging impacts of tourism

Challenges related to increased tourism flows are often described as 'over tourism' and associated with a high concentration of people in a limited space. Meanwhile, the concentration of people – crowding – is not the only, nor the biggest concern for the locals. Rather, 63% of the Copenhageners who experience tourism-related problems in Copenhagen (which is just 33% of Copenhageners), point to traffic-related issues as a key challenge, as well as problems with general noise and waste. Locals mostly point out the use and impact of tourist-related traffic such as tourist busses, as a nuisance in their everyday life.

Source: 'Resident Sentiment Index' and 'I samtale med København'

Locals value subtle tourism

In the eyes of Copenhageners, visitors are categorised according to the degree by which they blend in with everyday life. On the one hand, locals express a stronger appreciation for the individual visitor, the subtle visitors, that blends in and explore the city on their own, seeking a close-to-local (temporary) experience, using public transportation and contributing to the local economy. On the other hand locals don't appreciate large group of visitors stand out in public spaces and demonstrate a ‘ticking off the bucket list ’ mentality.

It’s negative when tourists just want to “tick places off their list” and move around in larger groups. But, if people come in smaller groups and seem sincerely interested, then it’s positive

- Conversation with Copenhagen resident, Copenhagen Central Station


Source: 'I en Samtale med København'

A desire to move towards integrated tourism

The tourism-related problems experienced by locals are mostly associated with tourism as an entity and not with the individual visitor. Negative experiences often relate to what is particularly visible and perceived as separate from and non-contributory to their local everyday lives. In the city centre, locals mostly point out tourist-related traffic, especially ‘tourist bus traffic’ – as being a nuisance and having a negative impact on the environment.

Source: 'I en Samtale med København'

Environmental impact of tourism

In the minds of 38% of Copenhageners, the term 'environmentally conscious'- describes the DNA of Copenhagen. At the same time, 29% of locals associate tourism with negative environmental impacts.
The fact that not everyone thinks tourism and"-environmental consciousness"- go hand in hand is also reflected in the locals’ disappointment with preferred visitors’ behaviour. Taking care of the environment is locals’ top expectation for visitors’ behaviour and the behaviour which visitors least live up to, -according to locals.

Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer'and 'Resident Sentiment Index'

Clean Copenhagen - a strength and a challenge

Both locals and visitors highlight Copenhagen as a clean city, which is also reflected in the competitive benchmark with other European cities. Among the locals, -who experience tourism-related problems throughout the year, between 32 – 46% of locals (across research) consider tourism as having a negative impact on the issues of cleanliness and waste management. This is the third largest tourism-related problem from a local perspective. The biggest problem is traffic.

Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer', 'Competitive Index, All Visitors', 'Competitive Index, MICE Visitors' and 'Resident Sentiment Index'


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What locals & visitors think of Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a bikeable, liveable and easy to visit in the eyes of visitors and locals. However, while visitors are motivated by atmosphere, 42% of Copenhageners pinpoint the famous attractions as a major city characteristic – in contrast with only 17% of recent visitors to Copenhagen.

Who Copenhagen competes with

Major European tourism destinations like Berlin and Amsterdam are Copenhagen's close competitors. However, it's closest rival is the self-proclaimed Capital of Scandinavia, Stockholm, which outperforms Copenhagen in the competitive comparisons. Copenhagen leads the pack in fulfilling the overall expectations of business travellers.