LGBT-København: Kan København leve op til Wonderful Copenhagens fremstilling af byen som en LGBT-venlig destination?

Tine Schaer

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of the research conducted in his master’s thesis is twofold: First to examine how Wonderful Copenhagen, Copenhagen’s official tourist organisation, is branding the Danish capital as an LGBT- friendly destination through the website VisitCopenhagen, as well as the reasons behind this choice of branding strategy. Secondly to compare Copenhagen’s LGBT-friendly brand identity, as conveyed through the website, to the city’s equivalent brand image as it is perceived by the local LGBT community, with the aim of determining whether the city can live up to the description, or if there are “gaps” between the two images. Theory on place and destination branding is used to put the branding of Copenhagen in a larger context and to premise the use of theory on brand identity versus brand image to examine the brand “LGBT Copenhagen”. The research is based on qualitative methodology in the form of analysis of data collected from VisitCopenhagen and four in-depth interviews: One with a representative from Wonderful Copenhagen and three with “experts” from Copenhagen’s LGBT community.
Is discovered that LGBT-friendliness is one of five core values used by Wonderful Copenhagen in the branding of the city, and that this value is conveyed through three central messages: 1. Copenhagen’s open-minded and tolerant inhabitants, 2. the city’s attractive LGBT environment and nightlife and 3. the city as capital of LGBT-friendly Denmark. The branding of “LGBT Copenhagen” is done to attract mainly the so-called DINKS, as well as to differentiate the city from its competitors, but the emphasis on LGBT-friendliness also sends a powerful message to other target groups about Copenhagen as an open, tolerant and creative city.
Through analysis and comparison of the three main messages on VisitCopenhagen and the views of the experts on Copenhagen’s LGBT-friendliness, it is concluded that “gaps” do occur, and that the city only partially lives up to its described merits: Generally, the city’s population is open-minded and tolerant towards sexual minorities, and LGBT people “blend in” with the general population of Copenhagen. As the capital and largest city of Denmark, Copenhagen is also the most tolerant in the country, although it’s LGBT-friendliness is perceived as a very relative attribute, depending entirely on which other world city it is compared to. Although Wonderful Copenhagen primarily addresses homosexuals through the core value “LGBT Copenhagen”, the city is perceived to be more progressive and inclusive of all the members of the LGBT community than described on the website. Copenhagen’s LGBT-specific environment and nightlife, though, does not live up to its described attractiveness: Partly due to Copenhagen’s high levels of tolerance, the need for LGBT people to gather in areas with an LGBT- specific environment and nightlife is reduced, and thus, the city has no “gay village”. This is seen as an important shortcoming which, in turn, results in the city being perceived as less LGBT-friendly.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages146