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Denmark considers free ferries to islands for cyclists and pedestrians in July

It is yet another attempt by authorities to reboot the country’s struggling tourism sector

  • June 21, 2020 20:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Governments across Europe are currently engaged in a fight for the survival of their countries’ tourism sectors. Left reeling in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, tourism-related businesses are some of the hardest hit by the imposition of lockdowns, quarantines and travel restrictions.

Yet different countries, thanks to their different offers and unique approaches, also have radically different approaches at their disposal when it comes to dealing with the crisis. Among the most interesting ideas is the one proposed by Denmark’s government, as part of its overall summer package, giving cyclists and pedestrians the opportunity to get a free ferry ride to one of the country’s islands.

Making the best out of a bad situation

The government’s idea covers a total of 47 sailing routes including Gudhjem-Christiansø, Marstal-Birkholm and Grenaa-Anholt. The proposal and the unique nature of the offer would not only drive up the interest of large parts of the Danish population but would also result in great benefits for the small communities located on these islands.

The idea has been greeted with a warm response by the islands’ local authorities with mayors and city councillors coming in support for the idea that would give their own tourist enterprises breathing room and would allow them to survive the summer season.

The mayor of Svendborg located on the island of Funen, Bo Hansen, for example, expressed his optimism that due to the coronavirus crisis, many locals would prefer spending their vacation near their homes – more specifically within the confines of Denmark. That, in turn, would be the perfect opportunity to support and promote domestic tourism destinations that have been impacted by the pandemic and are in need of aid.

The fact that the government is ready to extend its offer only to cyclists and pedestrians is also telling in terms of its climate ambitions. Such an initiative would promote the use of sustainable and healthy modes of transport even further, thereby aiding Denmark in achieving its climate ambitions.


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