Copenhagen has launched "CopenPay," a new program rewarding tourists who make green choices, like biking or cleaning up, with free cultural experiences across the city.

Copenhagen’s New Scheme Pays Back Tourists for Sustainable Travel

(Photo : Febiyan/Unsplash)

Copenhagen Pays Tourists for Going Green

In a unique move, Copenhagen is turning sustainable travel into a rewarding experience for tourists. 

The city's latest initiative, "CopenPay," launched this summer, compensates visitors who engage in eco-friendly activities with free cultural experiences, such as guided museum tours, kayak rentals, and vegetarian meals made from local ingredients.

The scheme was developed by Wonderful Copenhagen, the city's official tourism organization. 

According to the CEO, Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, "CopenPay" not only enhances the tourist experience but also actively contributes to the city's environmental efforts. 

Tourists can easily participate in the program by showing simple proofs of green actions, like train tickets or photos of them biking.

The idea is to try to close this gap between people's wish to act sustainably and their actual behaviors. Statistics indeed show a drastic difference: while 82% of tourists want to travel sustainably, only 22% actually do.

According to Copenhagen's Lord Mayor, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, the initiative is most welcome. She feels that having a rich cultural life in Copenhagen combined with sustainable practices aligns with the city's values and future goals.

The "CopenPay" scheme is not only expected to ensure a better quality of visits for eco-conscious tourists. It may also set an example for other cities in promoting sustainable tourism. 

The project thus reflects a very small but meaningful contribution, at a micro level, toward a much bigger and global green transition.

Related Article: Denmark Sets Green Tax on Air Travel for Eco-Friendly Shift by 2025

Making Green Choices Rewarding

CopenPay is Copenhagen's newest initiative for redefining sustainable tourism, complete with a uniquely devised reward system for environmentally friendly actions. 

This pilot project, launched on July 15, will spur both tourists and residents to bike, use public transportation, take part in clean-up efforts, and engage in other green behaviors.

Participants just need to present their proof-for example, a train ticket or a photo of the person on a bike. This can be presented at a great number of different spots in the city, easily found through the online map of CopenPay. 

Moreover, participants should always check in advance for access to attractions, as some may require bookings due to limited availability.

As Aarø-Hansen said by Visit Copenhagen, "With CopenPay, we're empowering people to experience more of what Copenhagen offers while placing less burden on our planet."

Ranked as the third-most sustainable destination in the world, Copenhagen aims to create an even higher reputation by offering active solutions like CopenPay. 

This initiative not only supports more green ways of moving and activities on environmental grounds but also helps attain the long-term aspiration goals set by the city while reducing carbon emissions.

The project will run until Aug. 11, hoping to expand and become a permanent fixture in Copenhagen's economy while inspiring other cities worldwide.

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