NEW YORK -- Hospitality is hot in the Danish capital of Copenhagen,
where hotel capacity is set to grow 20% by the end of 2005 to meet
the growing demand from the meetings and conventions and Baltic
When the 2,200 rooms under development are added to the city's
current total of 11,000, Copenhagen will have increased its hotel
inventory by more than half since 1998, according to city
convention and visitors bureau Wonderful Copenhagen CVB.
"The many new hotels attract more customers and give us a
metropolitan profile," said Lars Bernhard Jorgensen, managing
Although the Nordic port is one of the world's top congress
venues, it has "missed out" on some peak-season events due to
limited hotel availability from May to September, according to the
Hilton already has pitched in to help alleviate the crunch with
the May debut of the 281-room Scandic Sydhavnen, located in the
business district next to the Bella Center congress hall, and the
arrival last year of the 382-room Hilton Copenhagen Airport, which
has a floor of meetings space.
The company, which bought Scandic Hotels in June 2001, also
plans to open a 207-room Scandic property next to the city's famed
Tivoli Gardens by next May.
The arrival of major international chains will help spur tourism
and business travel
to Copenhagen, said Dorthe Hansen, managing director of the
Danish Tourist Board in New York.
"This means Copenhagen automatically gets into the booking
systems of the Hiltons and Marriotts -- and all their marketing
efforts will benefit the city," she said.
And whatever rooms aren't filled by conventioneers might be
booked by the ever-growing number of travelers embarking on Baltic
cruises, many of which call at Copenhagen, she said.
"We're the gateway to the Baltic, whether you're heading to the
Norwegian fjords or over to St. Petersburg, [Russia]," said Hansen,
adding that the tourist board expects about 230 port calls at
Copenhagen in 2003.
"That's why we need the rooms, as well."
Land-based tour business also might grow as a result, Hansen
added, as up to 35% of cruise visitors polled expressed a desire to
return to Copenhagen for a longer stay.
Other recent arrivals include the boutique, 34-room Hotel
Guldsmeden, which opened this June in central Copenhagen, and the
Copenhagen Marriott, with 395 rooms, eight meetings rooms and a
6,000-square-foot conference hall.
On tap for 2003 and beyond are two new hotels from the ARP
Hansen Hotel group.
The Square Copenhagen will open on the Radhuspladsen, or Town
Hall Square, by June with 180 guest rooms; the property might
eventually be expanded to 280 rooms.
Longer term, ARP Hansen is building a three-star, 200-room
property on an artificial island in Copenhagen's harbor, connected
by a bridge to the Fisketorvet shopping mall.
Swedish chain First Hotels opens its fifth Danish property with
the 2004 debut of the First Hotel Norregade. The hotel will
comprise 150 suites and a ground-floor shopping arcade housed in
the former, city-center Daells department store.
On the bargain end of the equation, local budget chain Cabb Inn
is planning a spring 2004 debut for its third city-center hotel, a
large entrant with some 350 rooms.
Additional properties are planned for the airport, the Scala
shopping center near Tivoli and the new Orestad neighborhood under
construction on the island of Amager.
For more information, contact the Danish Tourist Board in New
York at (212) 885-9700 or Wonderful Copenhagen directly at (011)
45-33 257400 or visit www.visitcopenhagen.dk.