HCA NEWS Hans Christian Andersen at travel show

Right now, Hans Christian Andersen is the masthead for Denmark's stand at the world's largest travel show.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 11 November 2003

Denmark is pulling out all the stops these days to market Hans Christian Andersen at the world's largest travel show, the World Travel Market, in London. The goal is to get tourists from all over the world to stream into Denmark in the year 2005, during which the world will celebrate the writer's 200th birthday.

"The HCA2005 project presents a unique opportunity to market Denmark abroad," says the head of the Danish Tourist Board's London office to the newspaper Børsen.

He adds that, as an example of the activities with respect to which the Danish Tourist Board in Great Britain has entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Education, a flying trunk will be offered to no less than 13,000 fifth form classes.  The trunk is filled with all sorts of things related to Hans Christian Andersen along with a competition in which the whole fifth form is to participate.

The winning prize will be a trip in Hans Christian Andersen's footsteps, and the Irish government has just bought the idea of the flying trunk for their schools.

"After this effort, perhaps 250,000 children will have a different relationship to Denmark, and, when they are able to make the decision themselves, of course, they will come to consider Denmark in their vacation plans," says Henrik Kahn.

Ireland wild about Andersen
Ireland is also a success, when it comes to getting a stream of tourists to Denmark.  In five years, the number of Irish visitors staying overnight has risen from 30,000 to 120,000 annually.

 This is due, among other things, to an agreement the Danish Tourist Board has entered into with Ireland's largest chain of filling stations, the Norwegian Statoil chain, offering trips to all customers at special prices.

In 2002, there were around 550,000 Britons who stayed overnight in Denmark.  Great Britain is the fifth largest supplier of tourists to Denmark - only exceeded by Germany, Sweden, Norway and Holland.