One million Americans came to Denmark via Copenhagen Airport last year - an increase of more than double in just seven years.
‟We've worked hard with the airlines and the tourism organisations to increase traffic over the Atlantic - and we've succeeded," says Peter Krogsgaard, Copenhagen Airport's chief commercial officer. ‟Last year, we topped 1 million for the first time, and we expect a further increase this year and in the years ahead."
Peter Krogsgaard points in particular to a significant increase in the number of tourists:
‟In the USA, they generally only have 10 days' paid holiday a year, which means American tourists are rather fussy and willing to pay what it costs to get a good holiday. So there's big competition to attract American tourists, and that's where the numerous direct routes play an important role."
The growth in the number of American passengers closely correlates with the number of direct routes to and from Denmark, in particular with SAS and Norwegian. Including Air Canada's route to Toronto, the number of direct routes from North America to Copenhagen Airport has increased from six to 11 since 2010.
The growth in traffic over the Atlantic looks set to continue next year. SAS has announced that next summer it will be making much greater use of the route to Boston, with departures from CPH every day of the week.
Like the Danes, Americans prefer to fly direct. So the more direct routes there are, the better it is for the Danish tourism industry and for business," says Peter Krogsgaard.
Americans now the third-largest group
The total proportion of American passengers at Copenhagen Airport has gone up from 4.3 to 6.9%. This means the Americans have overtaken the Norwegians to become the third-largest group of foreign passengers - only exceeded by the Swedes (13%) and the British (8%).
The American tourists are generally highly qualified and well paid. They are on city holidays in Denmark, often as part of a tour or cruise. And they love being in Copenhagen and Denmark. Nine out of ten are very satisfied with their stay in Denmark and 96% think the Danes are friendly and welcoming, according to VisitDenmark's major survey of foreign tourists' experience of Denmark.
This is one of the reasons why one in four American tourists is a returning visitor. VisitDenmark is very pleased with developments.
‟The growth reflects our major focus on the USA," says Dennis Englund, the tourism organisation's head of marketing USA. ‟An intensive campaign with the leading American press, national media and influential lifestyle media as well as an increased effort with American tour operators have helped bring Denmark more exposure in the USA as a travel destination with more quality experiences than ever before."
Dennis Englund stresses that VisitDenmark has a very positive view of the future growth in American passengers and will continue to work closely with the airlines serving Copenhagen.
Direct routes from CPH to North America
The number of seats on direct flights increased from 420,000 in 2010 to 763,000 last year. There are direct flights to:
- New York with SAS, Norwegian and Delta (summer route)
- Los Angeles with Norwegian
- Washington with SAS
- Chicago with SAS
- Orlando with Norwegian
- Fort Lauderdale with Norwegian
- San Francisco with SAS
- Miami with SAS (winter route)
- Boston with SAS (summer route)
- Oakland with Norwegian (summer route)
- Toronto with Air Canada