Maksym Potapenko – Unsplash

There’s never been a better time to plan a summer vacation in Copenhagen. 2024 is set to be the largest tourist season on record, with people flooding to popular destinations in Italy, France, and Spain in such numbers that city governments are raising tourist taxes, and even discouraging visitors with strict controls on behavior, tour group sizes, and rental property numbers.

By contrast, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has launched a program whereby visitors this summer can earn credits for public transport, attraction entrances, and more by picking up litter, using zero-emissions transport, or doing short volunteer stints.

Rather than penalizing bad behavior, Copenhagen wants to invite good behavior by instilling in visitors the values and habits that make Copenhagen one of the most environmentally sustainable European capitals.

Earn rewards at Copenhagen attractions ranging from a free lunch or a cup of coffee to a kayak tour or even a free entrance to a museum by participating in several sustainable activities, including biking or taking zero-emissions public transport instead of driving, picking up litter, or “pledging sustainable behavior.”

Companies will not be reimbursed under the plan, but the green-eyed Danes are still signing up to participate, with 2 dozen firms involved in tourism and hospitality opting into the program, which city planners say will be “trust-based.”

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At the moment, the program, called CopenPay is running on a trial basis for a month starting July 12th, and a GPS map of the city with all the restaurants, services, and attractions that accept these eco-credits highlighted with address pins, which also include what you must do to earn them, as available on the website.

The program will run until August 11th, and the tourist board’s communications chief, Rikke Holm Petersen, is excited to see the results.

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“Imagine if we could have people taking a greener mindset back with them – if that was the souvenir they got – that would be amazing,” Ms. Petersen told the BBC.

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