In 1992, the City of Copenhagen and the surrounding municipalities decided to set up a new organisation to take care of destination marketing: Wonderful Copenhagen, named after one of the tourism organisations that already existed. The main argument for the creation of this ‘official convention and visitors bureau of Greater Copenhagen’ was the high degree of fragmentation in tourism promotion. Until then, several organisations (including Copenhagen Tourist Organisation, Wonderful Copenhagen, Copenhagen City Centre and the Danish Convention Bureau) had tried to attract visitors, however with little coordination and much internal competition (Van den Berg et al, 1995; PA Consulting Group, 1992).
Wonderful Copenhagen, hereafter abbreviated as WoCo, is a public-private partnership, drawing half of its funds from public actors (the state and regional authorities) and the other half from private actors (the tourist industry). To reach its goals (‘to strengthen and extend knowledge of the city’s international networks and identity’) WoCo manages various networks, such as the Wonderful Copenhagen Alliance, the Wonderful Copenhagen Cruise Network, Wonderful Copenhagen Meeting place and Wonderful Copenhagen Mødecentrum (‘meeting centre’).
In the present case study, we focus our attention on WoCo’s ‘network model’, aiming to answer the following questions: 1) what have been the motives to set up these networks? 2) how are these networks actually functioning? (what have been the results); 3) have they contributed to the performance of Copenhagen as a destination? 4) to what extent can the network model be transferred to other cities, and what is the relevance of specific context factors?; and 5) what are the future challenges for WoCo?
The structure of our report is as follows. In section 2, we first introduce Copenhagen and its region, describing the relevant context factors that should be taken into account. Section 3 analyses WoCo and the motives to co-operate, and confronts the network model with our partnership model (see table 1.1). Section 4 discusses the outputs and outcomes of WoCo’s networks, and identifies challenges that remain. Finally, we confront our observations with the research framework and draw some conclusions in section 5.
The Copenhagen region
In this section we describe the context factors that are relevant for the development of Wonderful Copenhagen and its networks. In contrast with other case studies, our description starts with the political-administrative context, in view of some important changes that will take place in 2007. After that, we present some general demographic and economic figures concerning Copenhagen and its region, including some data on tourism. The last sub-section analyses the cultural context.
The political-administrative context
Copenhagen is the capital and the largest city of Denmark with a population of more than 1.1 million (in the agglomeration). The city is located on the island of Zealand which is connected with Sweden (the region of Skåne and the city of Malmö) through the bridge across the Øresund1. The Øresund is the strait of water between Sweden and Denmark, connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea. Copenhagen belongs to the Øresund region, which comprises the Danish islands of Zealand, Lolland-Falster, Møn and Bornholm, and the Swedish Skåne region2. This region has a population of about 3.6 million. Since the opening of the bridge (in 2000), the number of commuters that cross the Øresund has increased drastically (with growth rates of about 100 per cent!). Nevertheless, many would agree that the cross-border region is not yet an integrated region; it will take years or even decades to accomplish that.
On the 1st of January 2007, the political-administrative context will change radically because of a nation-wide reorganisation of local and regional government. This reorganisation implies a reduction in