Sport Tourism – Choosing events that match the city’s DNA

Choosing events that match the city’s DNA – A Danish perspective 

Interview with Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark 

How does hosting major international sports events contribute to increasing the attractiveness of Denmark and its cities as a tourist destination?

Hosting major sporting events increases the awareness of a country, a region, or a city – and is thus an effective platform for sharing relevant stories, positions of strengths, and values about the place. The unique thing about hosting a major event is that you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate – not just talk about – these things directly to your audience, such as visiting fans, athletes, media representatives, VIP guests and many others. Let me give you an example.

Denmark is very well known for its bicycle culture, as a large number of Danes use their bicycle every day, whether as a means of transport or to get good exercise. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Denmark to focus on major bicycle events and on bicycle tourism in general. Both elements will be exposed on a large scale when Denmark hosts the Tour de France Grand Depart next year. A three-day major event that starts in Copenhagen and ends close to the German border in the city of Sønderborg. In connection with this world-leading event for the elite, several mass-participation events will be organised in different cities across our country and will include targeted sporting activities for all participants from abroad and from Denmark.

Additionally, the many Tour de France cycling activities also go hand in hand with Denmark’s ambitious focus on climate and sustainability. CO-2 emissions from cycling are very limited, and this is just one story that can be told within the climate and sustainability area.

When deciding to bid for a major sports event, what are the main selection criteria that guide your decision?

The main tool we are using in the Sport Event Denmark selection process is a score card with seven criteria:

Mercantile / marketing criteria:

  • International tourism turnover for the benefit of the Danish tourism industry
  • International promotion of Denmark, the host city, the sport

Sporting criteria:

  • Prestige of the event
  • Danish elite-level
  • Development of sport

Anchoring criteria:

  • Involvement of the Danes
  • Organisational strength

In other words, tourism development is an important criterion, but it is not overweighted relative to the other criteria. Our selection is based on a holistic view and approach. However, it is important to emphasise that the above reflects the criteria that Sport Event Denmark prioritises. An individual host city may have different priorities, but tourism development is pretty much always important.

As a partner of Danish cities in the organisation of major sports events, what are their main objectives and pillars for developing tourism?

It can of course vary from city to city but commonly the objective is to create revenue for the tourism industry as well as promote the city nationally and internationally. In addition, it is most often a desire to link the city’s most important values to the event hosting. For example, in relation to our capital Copenhagen. Copenhagen hosts events in-line with the city’s DNA, using events to showcase the city as a sustainable front runner and one of the world’s most livable cities. A city where the locals are cycling everywhere, where it is possible to swim safely in the clean harbour, and where you can enjoy an organic meal in some of the world’s best restaurants.

 

To learn more

Sport Event Denmark

Sport Event Denmark is a national event organisation established in 1995 by the Danish Government and the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark with the main objective of attracting and organising major international sports events and sports congresses. Very importantly, Sport Event Denmark recognises the importance of adding value to an event and its owner and always strive do its utmost to exceed the expectations of all stakeholders. During the last years more than 350 international sporting events have been secured including a wide range of World Championships, European Championships, World Cups and major sports conferences.