Foreign visitors to Denmark have become aware of congress destination Aarhus, which currently is experiencing the strongest growth rates in Denmark in terms of the number of hotel bed nights. Aarhus' impressive results are due to massive urban development accompanied by an exciting hotel boom as well as an increased strategic focus on attracting more international business events and congresses to the progressive destination in central Jutland.
Strongest growth in Aarhus
The number of hotel bed nights increased by 18,6 per cent (2011-2013) in Aarhus - the corresponding figures for Copenhagen were 13,2 per cent and 6,7 per cent for Aalborg, Odense, Esbjerg and Randers and thus, underlining Aarhus’ position as a real growth driver, not least in the western part of Denmark.
Peer H. Kristensen, CEO of VisitAarhus Convention, points out that four years ago it was difficult to find accommodation for congress delegates in Aarhus, but nowadays the same guests can stay within walking distance to everything, and so Aarhus has become an attractive conference destination and one that has experienced a huge quality boost too.
In 2012, the Scandic Aarhus City hotel opened its doors to the public in downtown Aarhus with 228 rooms, and just this month successful hotel chain Comwell opened its 16th hotel, Comwell Aarhus, in the heart of the city offering another 240 rooms and state of the art meeting and conference facilities with a capacity of up to 450 persons. In another six months, successful low budget hotel provider CabInn will have expanded its hotel capacity at the Cabinn Aarhus from its current 192 rooms to 400 hotel rooms, taking the progressive university city's total number of hotel rooms to 2365.
- Aarhus has become a 'hip' destination and professional in handling business events, and with the increase in hotel capacity we're now able to attract more and larger congresses and conferences to the city, says Peer H. Kristensen, who welcomes the strong growth rates in Aarhus and also refers to the fact that Aarhus recently entered Top 100 on the ICCA World Ranking City List (2013) ranking 75th.
- At VisitAarhus Convention we have strong ties to Aarhus University with whom we collaborate closely to attract more international congresses to the city. On top, large multinationals such as Arla and Vestas are located in our vicinity and contribute to the growth by adding daily business to our local hotel and meetings industry, and soon the successful Danish fashion brand Bestseller is relocating into new offices at Aarhus’ rapidly developing harbour area too, Kristensen adds.
Peter Laursen, General Manager at the city's largest hotel and congress venue, the RadissonBlu Scandinavia hotel in Aarhus, says:
- The increase in Aarhus’ hotel portfolio simply means that the cake is getting a little bigger and it keeps us all on our toes, which is good. 80 per cent of our hotel bed nights at the Radisson stem from business guests and although we have 19 meeting rooms and a congress hall with room for 1500 guests, the increased capacity is definitely a plus for the city as a whole. To give you an example, Aarhus just won a major congress for the Danish Metal union in 2016 only because we've now got the places and spaces available in downtown Aarhus, Laursen adds.