Demand fuels lodging growth in Copenhagen

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 cruise markets.

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 director.

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 CVB.

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.

Late check-ins

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

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