Friday, 25 January 2008

Wanted : More visitors to Denmark

Once people come to Denmark, they like it. The problem, says the tourism industry, is getting them here in the first place.

The country's slumping tourist industry is to be propped up with a new strategy that will spread knowledge of Denmark abroad by highlighting the positive experiences most visitors say they have of the country.

A coordinated effort by VisitDenmark - the national tourism board - companies within the tourism industry and other businesses will see the investment of DKK 120 million to sell Denmark as a travel destination.

Half of those monies will come from funds the national government set aside as part of its overall DKK 400 million programme to promote Denmark abroad. That program focuses on a number of areas, including education, research and industry.

Tourism, however, has been identified as playing a leading role in helping to create a Danish identity.

'Outside of our neighbouring countries, Denmark is relatively unknown,' Dorte Kiilerich, managing director of Visit Denmark, said. 'But the vast majority of people that know Denmark have a positive image.'

VisitDenmark will seek to highlight Denmark's coastal areas and its four largest cities - Copenhagen, Ã…rhus, Odense and Aalborg - as tourist destinations.

In addition, it will look towards technology to attract visitors to the country. A raft of high-tech features on the organisation's website will help give potential tourists a virtual visit to the country using blogs, videos and other interactive functions.

Finally, VisitDenmark will seek to increase the participation of other internationally recognised Danish industries in the tourism business.

'We need to think less territorially. Things like design, environmentalism and style all influence people's impression of Denmark,' Kiilerich said.

Travellers spend a total of over 22 million nights in Denmark each year - more than all the other Scandinavian countries combined.

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