Destination Copenhagen; An Explorative Study on Residents Roles in Place Brand Management

Dino Kapidzic

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the recent years there has been a lot attention on mass movements against tourism and tourists all over Europe. Cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Venice have all been affected by these movements and have all forced place practitioners to take new measures into account.
In general this thesis aims to investigate how residents of Copenhagen perceive the tourism industry and tourism in the city but also whether they are willing to be brand ambassadors of the city and thereby potentially become co-creators to ‘Destination Copenhagen’. Therefore the theoretical foundation is comprised of the ‘brands as processes’ model, place branding which entails participatory branding, brand concept map and last but not least the stakeholder theory which represents a foundational premise for this thesis.
For the research and collection of data, the social construction paradigm together with a pragmatic stance is applied. Five qualitative interviews were carried out in order to encapsulate the stakeholder notion of this thesis. Further two observations, where one of them is a participant observation, forms the primary data. The participant observation was conducted at a public meeting revolving around the challenges of tourism in Copenhagen. Triangulation of the collected data is further boosted by two quantitative questionnaire surveys, where one of the surveys is conducted at the mentioned public meeting, the other was electronically distributed and conducted.
The analysis found that the relevant stakeholders in Copenhagen acknowledge the importance of residents in the process of branding the city. Proof of this is for instance Wonderful Copenhagen’s newly implemented strategy calling out for an approach of ‘Localhood’. Through the Brand Concept Map it is further shown how different resident groups do not differ much in their associations about Copenhagen, however their perceptions of being able to contribute to the formation of Copenhagen as a destination differs among the two surveys. Additionally the analysis shows how residents vary much in the tools they use when branding Copenhagen, and how much contact they have with tourists. Another result from this research shows how residents in the inner city are more affected by tourism, compared to other parts of the city. Lastly the thesis implies how this, if not managed correctly by those responsible, could end up as another Barcelona or Venice.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages126