The work of the Copenhagen convention bureau is well known on the international stage for its commitment to innovation, sustainability and professionalism. Following the recommendations of the Danish authorities in regards to covid-19 (Corona virus), Wonderful Copenhagen is setting a list of measures and temporary adjustments to get around this worse phase in the convention sector. Kit Lykketoft, director of the city’s bureau, guides us through the new strategy adopted by the Danish capital from the perspective of a destination.
HQ: How did this general stalemate caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business as a meeting destination?
Kit Lykketoft: There is no doubt that Copenhagen as a meeting destination is going through a very difficult period right now because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Several congresses, meetings and other events have been postponed or cancelled with the result that businesses in the industry are financially strained. Hotels and venues that up until a few a weeks ago were close to being fully booked are now forced to send staff home or close temporarily and restaurants and bars are temporarily shut.
HQ: How are you countering all this situation to overcome the current crisis?
KL: In the short term, many businesses in the industry have been thrown a life line by the Danish government and its Covid-19 economic aid packages that are aimed at preventing redundancies We are also seeing a great deal of entrepreneurship and creativity among partners in the industry. Thus, restaurants that usually offer fine dining experiences are now offering take away; bars are serving after-work beers to-go; and venues and museums are organising all sorts of virtual events. In addition, some of the city’s hotels have turned their rooms into home offices that locals can rent while others have made an agreement with Danish charities to offer their rooms to homeless people in need of self-isolating.
At Wonderful Copenhagen, we have adopted a number of measures and adjustments to help us get through this difficult time. Some short-term activities have been cancelled, while the long-term focus is being reviewed and adjusted. The immediate need to assist partners and other stakeholders is of key importance and the implementation of new initiatives and measures which will be needed post-corona are in the planning.
HQ: After this step back, what is the strategy and main goal that your Bureau will apply to return to its original form? Or do you see this setback as an opportunity to change?
KL: Inevitably, the entire world will return to a new normal. It is currently difficult to predict what that future holds, but it is no doubt an opportunity to think new thoughts and ideas and embrace change. Naturally, a key component of our post-corona strategy will be to revitalise our destination and welcome back visitors, when it is once again safe to travel. Our goals and activities moving forward will be different to what we originally set out to do in the beginning of the year. The team within our organisition has proven that it is more than capable of adapting to this evolving situation and change in tasks and scopes. Therefore, we have no doubt that Wonderful Copenhagen will be at the forefront of the new reality with exciting ideas and activities.
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