Local News in Brief: Are tourists turning Copenhagen into a human zoo?

In other news, the capital’s capacity for gin, parcels and septuagenarian crooners has never been larger

Lonely Planet recently named Copenhagen as the world’s best city to visit in 2019 – one of several accolades bestowed last year – and there are fears too many tourists will visit the Danish capital this year as a result.

Bent Lohmann, the chairman of the city centre’s Indre By Lokaludvalg local committee, cautions that tourism has reached a “saturation point”.

“You don’t even meet locals in Nyhavn anymore. The tourists see only other tourists,” he complained to Politiken.

Capital like a zoo
Lohmann is particularly critical of tourist buses.

“Clearly they can’t walk around themselves – presumably it’s dangerous for them to walk on the cobblestones,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the city is becoming more like a zoo with the tourists gazing out through the bus windows.”

Wonderful Copenhagen, reports the article, is this year going to focus on drawing more tourists away from the city to the different neighbourhoods.

Not a big deal
However, Szilvia Gyimóthy, an associate professor at the Department of Culture and Global Studies at Aalborg University, does not believe that Copenhagen’s recent accolades will dramatically increase tourist numbers.

“Copenhagen was already very popular,” she told Politiken.

“Rankings tend to be a bigger influence for completely unknown destinations.”

More significant than accolades, argues Gyimóthy, are capacity investments such as “the airport expansion, the harbour waterfront and more accommodation”.

Copenhagen gets new city architect
From February 1, Copenhagen will have a new ‘stadsarkitekt’ – the city’s official architect. Camilla van Deurs, 42, is leaving Gehl Architects, where she was a partner and had been employed for 11 years, to replace Tina Saaby, who stood down at the end of 2018. Van Deurs told Politiken that during the capital’s rapid expansion it will be important to incorporate recreational areas and public buildings, such as schools and elderly homes, into the new urban areas. Unlike in other municipalities, the role of stadsarkitekt is mostly advisory, leaving the decision-making to City Hall.

DHL to open massive hub at airport
Transport and logistics company DHL Express has announced its largest ever investment in Denmark. It will spend 1 billion kroner on establishing a new hub at Copenhagen Airport that will be able to handle five times more packages than its current operation can – 37,000 an hour. Furthermore, it will enable many packages to skip a visit to DHL hubs in the UK and Germany, as is the case today. The hub is expected to open in 2023 and create 100 jobs.

Gin festival already Europe’s biggest, claims organiser
The Copenhagen Gin Festival will only be three years old when it kicks off in February at Lokomotivværkstedet in Sydhavn, but its organiser is already claiming it’s the largest of its kind in Europe. Jacob Rosengren told TV2 how pleased he is that so many internationals are attending the festival, which will have 71 stands in place at the 10,000 sqm venue. This year’s festival is being held over six sessions from February 15-17, with a capacity for 1,400 guests per session.

Eleven from ‘Stranger Things’ in town 
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven in ‘Stranger Things’, was a recent visitor to Copenhagen. The British 14-year-old actress is an UNICEF ambassador and was here in connection with her work to visit the organisation’s headquarters in Nordhavn.

Tom Jones confirmed at Tivoli
Tom Jones is among the big names announced by Tivoli for its Fredagsrock program this year. The 78-year-old singer will be appearing on July 5. Several other names have been announced – mostly Danish acts – and the full program will be confirmed on March 5.

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