Analyses show that Denmark is relatively unknown outside the borders of its nearest neighbours, and tourism in Denmark is experiencing a decline compared to global tourism. Tourism is an important sector in the Danish economy constituting almost three per cent of GDP in 2005, and is part of the ever expanding experience economy. VisitDenmark is the national tourist organisation with the overall responsibility for activities to improve the image of Denmark as a tourist destination. The aim of this master thesis is to examine how Denmark can be branded successfully as a tourist destination. VisitDenmark has framed a plan for “Intensified global marketing of coastal and urban tourism in Denmark 2007 – 2010” which is part of a bigger action plan formed by the Danish Government, the Social Democratic Party, the Danish People’s Party and Social–Liberal Party in April 2007 called “Action plan for the global marketing of Denmark”. The goal of the action plan is to create a clear and positive picture of Denmark abroad in order to hold a strong position in the global competition for creative and competent workers, tourists, students, investment and global market share. In order to reach this goal, a number of marketing initiatives have been outlined by the Danish Government as well as VisitDenmark. The focus of this master thesis is concentrated on Denmark as a tourist destination, and it discusses how the Government and VisitDenmark’s initiatives have been formed. Based on a theoretical framework, the two plans for marketing Denmark have been analysed and discussed, and eight points of criticism have been identified. The theoretical framework includes theories on branding and marketing comparing corporate, product and nation branding, theories of experience economy including the founding work from Pine and Gilmore and a new perspective from Danish authors Jantzen and Rasmussen, and theories of tourism in Denmark and best practices from abroad. When discussing the plans for marketing Denmark the criticism is summoned in two main points. Firstly, the plan for the overall marketing of Denmark has an outward focus on how Denmark should be promoted abroad, whereas experiences from corporate branding and best practices from other countries show that inward focus is needed in order to obtain shared fundamental values which are necessary for successful nation branding. Secondly, Denmark is neither one product nor one brand, and cannot be branded as one unit. Therefore differentiation of a ‘Brand Denmark’ needs to be defined, thus, the flexibility of product branding can be applied to Denmark as a tourist destination On the basis of the theoretical discussion of branding, experience economy and tourism the thesis presents a number of recommendations on how to improve the action plan for the marketing of Denmark. First of all the plan should include an inward focus where the role of the Danish population is taken into account. Denmark as a tourist destination needs to be relevant to both foreign tourists and the population. Furthermore marketing Denmark is not adequate in order to create a clear picture of Denmark worldwide, thus, branding should be considered. This thesis on branding Denmark as a tourist destination concludes that the plans for the marketing of Denmark formed by the Government and VisitDenmark are not sufficient in order to brand Denmark as a tourist destination globally. This thesis therefore recommends the plans to include an inward focus and a more brand related strategy. When creating a nation branding strategy for Denmark, nation and branding are keywords.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||115|