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19 Jul, 2015

The Revolt Against Tourism — New York Times

COPENHAGEN — AS we glide under a bridge on the city canal tour, our guide announces that we have entered a quiet zone. “This is a residential area,” she says, nodding toward balconies where Danes are enjoying coffee, or maybe wine. “I’ll resume talking in five minutes.”

Denmark is one of the world’s top destinations for conferences and a mainstay of trans-Atlantic cruise ships. Attracted by noir detective series and fashionable cuisine, nine million tourists last year visited this city, a record for Denmark, which has fewer than six million people.

The “quiet zones” are emblematic of the Danish philosophy toward tourists: They should blend in with the Danish way of life, not the other way around. The Danes have prohibited foreigners from buying vacation cottages on their seacoasts; devised their famous bicycle-friendly transportation system to include tourists; and strictly limited bars and restaurants from taking over Copenhagen.

The question, says Henrik Thierlein, a spokesman for the city’s tourism office, is: “How do you take advantage of the growth in tourism and not be taken over by mass tourism?”

Read the rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/opinion/sunday/the-revolt-against-tourism.html