Stick ‘VAR’ into the Danish version of Google and you might imagine your first option will be ‘Video Assistant Referee’ – particularly after all the controversy at the Women’s World Cup (that winner Australia scored against Brazil … how the hell is that not interfering with play?).
But it isn’t, as Varde – a municipality in southwestern Jutland famed for its outstanding nature, which is presided over by a historic town of the same name – is one of Denmark’s most popular tourist destinations, according to an analysis of Danmarks Statistik data by Dansk Erhverv.
Last year, it was the second most popular municipality for foreign travellers, with 3.43 million overnight stays – which is pretty impressive given that the town of Varde has a population of just under 14,000 people. And it also ranked second for Danish tourists with 1.09 million overnight stays.
Topping the rankings, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Copenhagen with 5.59 and 2.74 million foreign and Danish tourists respectively.
Bornholm and Aarhus unknown by foreigners
Some destinations are clearly more popular with Danish tourists and vice versa.
Bornholm, for example, is the third most popular with Danes (0.86 million) but does not feature in the top ten for foreign visitors – and neither does Aarhus (fifth most popular with Danes at 0.82 million) or any of Denmark’s other major cities.
German tourists tend to be the most influential foreign visitors, as many of their favoured destinations make the top ten, including Ringkøbing-Skjern in third with 3.24 million and Tønder Municipality, which includes the island of Rømø, in fourth with 1.14 million.
“It shows that there is untapped potential in Danish tourism when, for example, there are not many foreign tourists visiting Bornholm or Aarhus,” commented Kirstine Tolstrup Nielsen, a consultant at Dansk Erhverv.
Spending big on their holidays, but not as much as their richer cousins
Almost a quarter of all online purchases in Denmark are spent on holidays, according to the annual DIBS report on Nordic e-commerce. In 2018, the nation accounted for 15.2 million purchases, spending 33.3 billion kroner – up 6 billion on 2017. Some 65 percent of all holiday purchases are conducted online, and 30 percent were package tours (up from 26 percent in 2017). Proportionately, however – when population is factored in – the 33.3 billion total was a long way short of Norway (29.2 billion) and Sweden (113 billion). Overall, 2018 saw total online purchase in Denmark increase by 14.7 billion to 129.3 billion kroner – 197 million purchases. The second most popular category was clothes, shoes and jewellery with 19 billion kroner.
Leaving the kids at daycare to swan off by themselves
A DR survey in which 1,377 of the nation’s 3,665 daycare institutions took part reveals that over a half of them have children who do not have a summer holiday. In over half the cases – 55 percent – it is because the parents are fully employed over the break, which starts in late June and continues until the second weekend in August. However, in 36 percent of the cases it is because the parents have decided to go on holiday alone and entrust the care of their children to someone else.
Capital among the bucket list elite
Copenhagen has been placed on the ‘Top 50 Bucket List Destinations 2019’ compiled by travel site Big 7 Travel. The list was topped by the Indonesian island of Bali followed by US city of New Orleans and the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. Marrakech in Morocco, Sydney, the Maldives, Paris, Cape Town, Dubai and Bora Bora in French Polynesia completed the top ten.
The ‘Outdoor Capital’ of Denmark? No, we don’t know!
Only 2 percent of the population know that Silkeborg in mid-Jutland has been marketing itself as the Outdoor Capital of Denmark, according to a survey conducted by Epinion on behalf of the municipality. Silkeborg Municipality began a campaign in 2017 to brand itself as the country’s premier destination for outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, kayaking, sailing and hiking.