Greater Danes: Denmark Expands Presence in Copenhagen and America

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Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen would like to get a bit bigger to help it draw a few more tourism dollars, but there’s no real way to grow it geographically.

So the city is attempting to get a bit clever and include a neighbor in its tourism marketing efforts as well—Sweden, which is no slouch when it comes to place branding.

The leaders of Copenhagen are hoping that the good folks of the southernmost province of Sweden, Skåne, that borders the city will be up for identifying themselves as Greater Copenhagen.

The region is already known as Øresund, but that name doesn’t exactly ring a bell for anybody who lives outside of the region.[more]

In a bid to be even greater Danes, local officials feel there’s strength in numbers to attract visitors. And it’s not like cross-border co-branding in order to market a region to travelers and economic investment is a new idea, after all.

“Size matters,” stated Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen, to the Guardian. “As Greater Copenhagen we can show it is something special. It is about creating a common identity that the entire region can get behind, and the Skåne region will also strengthen its position by profiling itself in this way.”

This would help Copenhagen keep pace with the tourism of such larger cities as Stockholm, Amsterdam and Hamburg, according to the Guardian. Jensen points out that if the areas combine under one banner, it will have “3.8 million people, 11 universities with 150,000 students and many PhDs,” making it more attractive to businesses looking to create a European or Scandinavian headquarters.

A change like this would directly affect the smaller Swedish city of Malmö just across the water from Copenhagen. It doesn’t appear that city’s residents are anxious to be known by the name of a city in a different country. “I do not feel in the current situation that we are prepared to leave Malmö behind,” the city’s social democratic mayor, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, said, the Guardian reports. “I think it would cause problems on the Swedish side.”

There are some who’d rather have the name become the Scandinavian Bay Area, a riff off of the San Francisco Bay Area.

And speaking of California, Denmark is increasing its presence in the state—and in the US—with the opening this week of The Copenhagen House as a design center and showcase for all things Danish.

It’s located in the town of Solvang, which was founded by Danish settlers and is considered the Danish capital of America.

[Images via This Is Copenhagen/Visit Copenhagen on Instagram]

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