Tourism is an industry comprised of many small companies – in Denmark as well as many other countries. This is a driver for competition but, increasingly so, also for cooperation. This was my incentive for becoming part of Active Copenhagen two years ago. How can we as SME’s join forces at the same time as keeping our own identity and independence? I’m not saying it’s easy but I strongly encourage companies in tourism to team up!
Active Copenhagen is a private umbrella company comprising of 8 members: Kayak Republic, Running Copenhagen, Cycling Copenhagen, beCopenhagen, GoBoat, Urban Adventures Copenhagen, MTB-Tours and Segway Tours Copenhagen. Our common denominator is – yes, you guessed correctly – Copenhagen! That is, offering MICE and FIT guests active and urban experiences that shows off the city from a more local and personal angle.
Together doing what?
By standing together, the member companies get more for their buck in regards to marketing. Common agreements are made (fx. with Airbnb Experiences), all are represented at the main tourism trade fairs in Europe and we collectively have a strong visual presence at Copenhagen Visitor Service. They also work on co-branding by referring to each other, by having a common by-line when confirming reservations as well as in our up-coming common newsletter.
Our MICE customers have a one-point-entry to all 8 companies which in turn makes their life much easier. Active Copenhagen handles all communication and coordination for group and company bookings which allows the member companies to solely to focus on delivering memorable experiences.
But joining forces is not just about saving time and money. As small independent companies, it is often difficult to find time to work on strategy. Problems are often solved ad hoc. By standing together we can help each other out – most of us are not experiencing challenges that haven’t been met by others before us. At the four yearly meetings we also discuss strategic developments – here there are a minimum of 10 brains to pick rather than just your own.
And it’s fun! Remember that old Harward Review report that concluded that most people prefer to work with Lovable Fools rather than Competent Jerks? Well, it’s still very relevant. NOT that our 8 members are in any way fools. ;0)
Rather they are experts that are passionate about what they do and enjoy sharing their love for their activities and Copenhagen with others. ALSO the competition. It’s about sharing values, meeting each other on a personal level, tapping into each other’s strengths and having a great time.
So we at Active Copenhagen pass on this tip: find companies in your near-by area with whom to cooperate. Don’t fear that it will diminish your own competitive position. Let it strengthen your own awareness of what makes you and your company unique. Join forces to stand stronger meanwhile having more fun!