Copenhagen launches scheme rewarding responsible travellers

Riding a bike, participating in a city clean-up or volunteering at urban farms can now earn visitors to Copenhagen travel rewards, thanks to a new sustainable tourism scheme.

Announced by the city’s tourist board, CopenPay will allow travellers to ‘pay’ for attractions and meals out at 24 businesses across the the Danish capital, just by performing simple, environmentally friendly tasks.

The pioneering initiative’s rewards range from free museum tours and kayak rental to free lunches, coffee and pastries.

Kayak rental is one of the rewards offered from the scheme (Shutterstock)

The short pilot scheme began on 15 July and will run until 11 August 2024, and not only hopes to encourage responsible tourism behaviour, but also enrich the city’s cultural experiences. It also aims to bridge the gap between aspirations to travel more sustainably and the actually putting it into practice.

“It is a core task for us to make travelling sustainable,” said Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, CEO at Wonderful Copenhagen.

“We must turn tourism from being an environmental burden into a force for positive change, and one important step in this transformation is to change how we move around on the destination, what we consume, and how we interact with the locals.

“With CopenPay we want travellers as well as local attractions to focus on the change and the choices we need to make,” he continued.

Collect trash in the BaneGaarden area and earn a free organic meal (Peter Vari)

Participation is easy – no registration or set-up required, and visitors simply need to show proof that they arrive have arrived by public transport, ridden a bike, or have picked up litter to redeem the rewards.

Some examples of actions include bringing plastic waste to the National Gallery of Denmark and turning it into a piece of art through a workshop, arriving by bike to get extra skiing time at CopenHill – the waste-to-energy plant’s unique ski slope, and volunteering at the urban garden Øens Have to enjoy a free vegetarian lunch.

Copenhagen receives approximately 12 million visitors to the city each year, with this trial initiative hoping to make just a small difference to the way people think about travel.

To learn more, including which organisations are participating in CopenPay, visit: