The Danish Tourist Board has launched one of the country`s most comprehensive Internet portals at visitdenmark.com
, in collaboration with the Danish tourism industry.
The opening of the portal is the culmination of eighteen months of the technological development of the site, as well as marking the beginning of the ongoing development in future years of electronic communications between the tourism industry and holiday-makers, business travellers visiting Denmark and professional partners worldwide.
The portal serves as a gigantic roundabout, routing traffic towards the relevant sites. In the development work, the purpose was twofold: to give customers a personal perspective on the “roundabout” and to give them the exact information they need to choose their route out again.
Once on the portal, users encounter four main entry points for:
* individual visitors to Denmark (holiday-makers, business travellers, etc.)
* meeting and conference planners
* the press
* professionals in the travel industry
Each of these main entry points is available in 12 different versions, depending on the country from which the person is travelling. In all the other layers of information, the editorial content is aimed at the country in question and prepared in the language of that country:
Among the innovations on the portal are 17 “mini-portals”, each representing a perspective on Denmark based on whatever personal interests that the tourist might have. Each “mini-portal” has a grouping of relevant facts, news, background articles, tips and links within its area. These are sub-divided, in part, into the preferred types of holiday and in part by leisure interests that may be combined with the chosen type of holiday.
For the first time, a special, digital tourist map of Denmark has been developed. The customer is free to choose which area of Denmark to zoom in on by simply using the mouse to indicate the area. Then the map function shows which places of interest for tourists there are in the defined area - divided into approximately 40 different categories. The customer now has a choice of viewing the exact categories that are of interest to him, and nothing else. Each place is marked with an icon that can be clicked on to display the underlying detailed information as to prices and opening times, for example, as well as links to associated websites or online booking, if available. In addition to these services, the contents of the Denmark Guide database are also `geo-coded`. As and when new sites of interest to tourists are added, they can be set up and geo-coded directly into the system of the local tourist office responsible for the geographical area in question.
Similarly, any of Denmark`s approximately 1,100 hotels could be shown, along with their physical location on the map of Denmark, once this has been obtained from Guide Denmark. If you want directions drawn, all you have to do is state your starting point. A detailed description of the route accompanies this and if you are then interested in seeing what type of sights there may be to see along the route, you simply ask for those to be marked.
The portal also provides an overview of all the tourist service centres in Denmark. Here, too, there are links to the tourism websites offered by the regional tourist organisations and, increasingly, the local tourist offices.
An option will be added giving customers the opportunity to sign up to the portal`s news service. Here, people can indicate their interests and ask to be kept up to date on related news and special offers. “My Denmark” is also being introduced, appearing as an icon on most of the screens within the portal. The customer can use this himself to collate his favourite pages into his own personal brochure of Denmark. It contains exactly what the person needs - articles, descriptions, maps, directions, etc.
The last aspect of the developments planned for the portal is the virtual marketplace. The Danish tourism industry can make special offers available here - for example, a gourmet weekend, a golfing or cycling holiday, an off-season promotion in a holiday cottage on the North Sea coast or a competitively priced venue for a business meeting. The Danish Tourist Board`s partners abroad will use the marketplace, expected to be online later this Summer, to post bargain flights or ferry tickets, and tour operators will advertise package trips to Denmark all year round. Special offers can be booked online via the portal, although on the issuer`s own website.
The portal is not only for tourists. If you need to plan meetings and conferences, the portal`s special gateway for meeting planners provides a unique tool. Here, for example, you can instantly view a list of the hotels or conference centres that meet your criteria as to start classification, meeting room capacity and number of rooms, geographic location, etc. At the same time, “Planners` Tools” provides a wealth of ideas for excursions and other social events for delegates, teambuilding activities, etc., all over Denmark - as well as recommendations from companies and clubs that have previously held successful events. This has all been developed in close collaboration with the regional tourism development companies.
The travel industry (i.e. tour operators, transport operators and travel agents all over the world) will find tools specific to them, with newsletters, tips and contact information on the portal. Also from here, there will be access to the digital multimedia archive, where they can obtain photographs for their Danish travel programmes.
From the Danish-language section of the portal, this gateway leads to tourism industry users to the Danish Tourist Board`s own website, danskturisme.dk, which up until now has been known as “Branchenet” (“the industry network”). Here, the tourism industry can obtain information on the Tourist Board`s marketing activities abroad, marketing descriptions, statistics and analyses, as well as news of special interest to this segment of Danish business.
In November 2000, the IT company Cap Gemini Danmark was selected as the main technology provider for the portal, following an EU public tender. The design and user interface of the portal are the creation of Cell Network, acting as a subcontractor to Cap Gemini. The Scandinavian map specialist BlomInfo was the sub-supplier for the digital tourist map of Denmark. According to Cap Gemini, this is one of the most ambitious sites on the Internet today. The budget for developing the portal was in excess of DKK 18 million, which was a fixed-price contract sum agreed with Cap Gemini. This does not include the Danish Tourist Board`s own use of resources in terms of project management, content preparation, etc., estimated to be of the order of DKK 5-7 million. A large proportion of the funding came from a special grant from The Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, worth DKK 17 million.