Hectic Time

Bovbjerg Lighthouse

Bovbjerg Lighthouse

My internship has been really interesting so far, and I have had the opportunity to work with many different tasks which is really nice – and also means that I am kept fairly busy.

I have been involved with fundraising, project development, facilitation, heritage dissemination, rural development, research and a heap of project secretary tasks, newsletter production, blogging and human resource management.

I’m learning a lot, meeting so many nice people and making a few mistakes here and there as well. That’s life though.

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Testing Geotourism

For 4 months now, I have been working as a project secretary with the preparations for a Geopark as part of a team of volunteers and professionals, assisting with fundraising, publicity and dissemination, and after speaking to many Geopark administrations and explaining geotourism to many other people, I thought it was about time I ventured out into the world and did a bit of my own testing.

Geotourism is about the uniqueness of a place – its landscape, culture, nature, people and about exchange between hosts and guests, sustainability and respect.

I am going to stay with locals, walk a lot, visit the sites of geological and historical interest, sample the local food, visit small galleries and archives and I just can’t wait.

At the same time, I am going to try to get some good pictures of dissemination methods, see how their nature interpreters do their job, and hopefully, I will have a chance to speak to them about their thoughts as well. I am also interested in figuring out how much the locals are aware of the Geopark I am visiting (possibly I will visit two) and how they feel about it.

In the Geopark we are creating, volunteers play a great role and the Geopark has a good deal of local support, but I have been told this isn’t the case everywhere, so I am curious…

Now just have a few bits of work to get sorted before I can go – some translations and consultancy stuff to pay the bills. Interesting stuff as well, but that’s for another time

Moving Coastline

The Crescent Anchor

Along the rugged line of sand

the black teeth of the groynes

protrude, and guard the strip of land.

A pirate smiles, purloins…

The cliff is frowning at the sea,

the taste of salty tears

the church, the anchor, cannot flee

– it won’t be many years

until the graves they made on land

– with lichen-covered stones they stand –

will join the crushing waves that ate

the ones of lesser fate.

 

New Exhibition: Butterfly Maps by Jessica Gadsby

New Exhibition: Butterfly Maps by Jessica Gadsby

Really interesting idea by this artist. I hope I will get to visit when I am in the area. This and the geomap project are such great ideas. It sort of adds a new dimension to the world. I like!

Visit the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

The Butterfly Maps exhibition at Taurus Crafts, this summer 26th July-31st August  is an exploration and re-imagining of places familiar and loved by the artist. Using maps of those areas, and butterfly species found there, Jessica recreates abstracts that are intriguing and inviting. Bristol born artist, Jessica, was raised in the Forest of Dean and has a special attachment to the area. Her love of walking and travelling and of the natural world heavily influences her work.

River Severn III L475

This exhibition covers a range of areas including the Lake District, Bristol and London but focus most heavily on the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and the River Severn. Having grown up with the view of the Horseshoe Bend, Garden Cliffs and found fossils near the Noose at Awre it is an important metaphor for journeying and homecoming for Jessica.

symondsyat

“It is always a pleasure to have something unusual to share…

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I’m in a film

A few weeks ago, I was invited by one of our nature interpreters to play a small role in a promotion video for the opening of a new section of the old Cattle and Army Road, the Hærvejen in the North of Jutland. I thought I would post it here.

The narration is Danish but talks about the many layers of history – how the main character could have been a peasant, a soldier, a merchant in different layers and different times. How if we could recall the images of past times, we’d have a myriad of memories and pictures available to us.

Being in the film was fun. Not tried that before.

All credit of course to the makers of the film, their names will appear toward the end of the video.

Target Groups in Danish Tourism

Lighthouse Rubjerg Knude

Lighthouse Rubjerg Knude

 

VisitDenmark operates with 4 segments when it comes to motivation based target groups in Danish Tourism.

The segments
One segment, called The Good Life are adults without children, either as friends or couples, seeking good experiences, whether that is food, nature, art or relaxation. They are attracted to natural beauty, urban and nature crossfields and the ability to wind down.

Another segment, Fun, Play and Learning is mainly composed of families with children, but also multi-generation travel. Naturally, these families are motivated by activities which appeal to children, and a safe environment where they can be together.

Modern City Break is looking for good experiences in the urban areas – cafées, museums, night life, culture, dining and so forth. They have shorter stays and spending above average.

Business Travel is a competitive market but the business guests who visit Denmark place a lot of money here. These guest are mostly Scandinavian, as well as from Germany, the UK and the US.

The strategies
There has been a decline in both The Good Life and Fun, Play and Learning over the past years (since 2007), due to recession, but also due to changes in travel habits. It’s a declared goal for VisitDenmark to restore the number of overnight stays to the 2007 level.

Without having the exact data, it is hard to assess this goal. You’d have to imagine they know what they’re talking about. At the same time, I wonder if it is one of those cases where growth is not the only right thing to do – sometimes there is a strategic advantage to standing still, regrouping and perhaps redefining some of what you do. These two segments are mainly based on camping and summer cottages.

For the Fun, Play and Learning, furthermore there will be attempts to extend the season, especially for families with smaller children who don’t depend on school breaks.

The City Break segment is a very diverse segment with both people from the near markets (Scandinavia) and from Europe, as well as far markets such as Russia and Japan. The close market guest book their own stays while far market guest rely on agencies. The strategy for this segment in a competitive market is to try to do more target marketing with more iterations in a relation marketing fashion, while currently focusing on those customers who are already in the market for City Breaks in a less known capital.

It would probably, when working with relation marketing, be good if VisitDenmark would avoid using the phrase ‘low hanging fruit’ about their guests. It also reflects badly on Copenhagen. The recent success of the Danish television series, The Killing, and The Bridge, among others, however make Copenhagen more attractive.

For the Business Travel segment, it is a highly competitive market with knowledge of Denmark being very low in some areas. While working to create more awareness with agencies and corporate meeting bookers, and making campaigns that are far more targetted, it is also important to make sure guests have an extremely good experience while they are here, which is done both by being very selective about the venues included, as well as via the concept MINDblowing Meetings.

Student’s perspective
For me it is interesting to see how a big agency like VisitDenmark thinks about segments and marketing. There are areas where I would have made different choices, I think, but then there are a wealth of interests at play and I haven’t seen the exact numbers. Maybe over summer, when I am a bit less busy, I’ll go and look it up and see whether I reach the same conclusions and choices.

In any case: Do Visit Denmark – we have a lot to offer.

http://www.visitdenmark.dk/da/denmark/visitdenmarks-malgrupper