There are many pleasurable moments when looking back on 2018. Tivoli celebrated its 175th anniversary with a wide range of new activities, including an Anniversary Parade, the inauguration of the new Tik Tak ride as well as a visit from the New York City Ballet. The anniversary year marked the introduction of a new season in February, Winter in Tivoli, making Tivoli a truly year-round business.
With the new season, Tivoli is now open during every quarter of the year, following its strategy to be a year-round business. The year-round operation of Tivoli Corner and other activities at the edge of Tivoli is also an important element of this strategy. Another important element is the use of the Halls, which in 2018 welcomed almost 400,000 visitors, which is the highest figure ever. Winter in Tivoli was warmly received and attracted almost 10,000 visitors every day. Altogether, the Gardens were open for 282 days in 2018, which is 39 more than in 2017 and the highest number ever.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Tivoli's more recent business areas are also developing. Tivoli has acquired 50% of the rights to Rasmus Klump from Egmont. In the future, Rasmus Klump will "live" in Tivoli, and Tivoli and Egmont have formed a partnership that will develop the famous figure, including through a new TV series.
Digitisation is a major focus area in Tivoli. The Tivoli Pass was introduced in 2018 to replace the annual card. Now monthly payment is possible, and the Tivoli Pass is valid from the date of purchase rather than following the calendar year. With the Tivoli App, the Tivoli Pass is always at hand. This model has been requested for many years and is now possible due to technology.
Tivoli's development affects all of Copenhagen. In 2018, Lonely Planet, which publishes travel guides and writes about exciting destinations, named Copenhagen the city to visit in 2019. A prime reason for the honour was that Tivoli is beating the winter blues with Winter in Tivoli and the Copenhagen Light Festival, making February very special. Tivoli was also mentioned in Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 Greatest Places. This increased attention in the business brings with it demands such as widespread accessibility by aircraft, train and ship, and efficient and well planned infrastructure in Copenhagen so that tourists can easily find their way around. It is therefore crucial that legislators and the granting authorities continue to focus on the area to ensure that tourism can develop sustainably while benefiting the economy.
The annual attendance figures totalled 4.85 million, which is 11% higher than in 2017 and is the highest figure in recent times. In 2018, revenue comprised DKK xxxbillion including leaseholders and tenants, and DKK 1.5 billion excluding leaseholders and tenants, i.e. 18% and 13% higher than last year, respectively. Profits before tax in 2018 amounted to DKK 120.6 million, which is 20% higher than last year. The high attendance figures, revenue growth and the highest profit in Tivoli's history confirm Tivoli's current strategy of being a year-round business. The major investments during Tivoli's anniversary year have therefore boosted business and consequently the core business, the Gardens on Vesterbrogade 3 and the new activities have the wind in their sails, which promises a bright future for both the company and visitors to the Gardens.
More than 3,700 people work in Tivoli during the course of a single year. Of these, 2,000 have contracts with Tivoli A/S, and the remainder have contracts with restaurants and other tenants and leaseholders.
The 2,000 Tivoli employees are a mixed range of young and more mature, permanent and part-time employees, and women and men with diverse ethnic backgrounds, faiths, sexual orientations and educations.
As a workplace, Tivoli is characterised by a high degree of professionalism with specialists responsible for each individual job function. For example, there are architects, engineers, Masters of Business Administration, university graduates and many craftspeople as well as employees with artistic educations.
But Tivoli is also a workplace for unskilled employees who become specialists in their own specific jobs because they put their hearts into their work and remain in their positions for a long time. A number of employees therefore receive on-the-job training, becoming team leaders and heads of department, and the formal level of education loses its importance as their practical experience prevails.
Tivoli is committed to retaining and developing its employees. The same applies to helping to train young people. Tivoli offers work placements to students and trainees in a wide range of professions, and is pleased to employ particularly vulnerable employees who, for various reasons, cannot hold down full-time jobs.
In a survey from the consulting company Universum, Tivoli is ranked 19 on a list of Denmark's most popular employers. The survey is based on Danes with an average of eight years of experience in business – of whom 2,072 have a "business education background". This is the first time that Tivoli is on the list.
One example of the loyalty Tivoli's employees often display towards their workplace is Jack Elsberg, who retired in 2018 after 40 years of employment in Tivoli, where one of his positions was as head of the engineering workshop. Elsberg's long service in Tivoli was rewarded with Dronningens Fortjenstmedalje (a medal of merit bestowed by the Danish Queen)
Tivoli's visitors remain very satisfied with their experiences in the Gardens and are happy to recommend Tivoli to friends and family. The special atmosphere is particularly attractive to guests according to the reasons stated by the participants in the survey questionnaire that Tivoli distributes. In 2018, the largest groups of visitors were families with children under 12 years as well as visitors with cultural interests. Cultural interests would include Friday Rock, for example, which is an important reason for Pass holders to visit.
Eating in Tivoli is also highlighted as a reason for visiting Tivoli. Here, the surveys state that Tivoli Food Hall has improved its range of restaurants and food stands, and consequently the percentage of visitors who find Tivoli's eating options relevant has risen between 2017 and 2018. Particularly younger visitors under 40 years of age know and use the Tivoli Food Hall.
The distribution between Tivoli visits made by tourists and locals has not substantially changed. As a result of the summer season's high attendance figures, the figures are slightly misleading: Though the percentage of tourists fell slightly, the actual figure rose.
The frequency of the surveys has changed so that the summer season is always included, whereas Winter, Halloween and Christmas in Tivoli are included in turn. The following graphics are therefore based on figures from 2018 as well as 2017.
With a very special greeting from Disney, Tivoli's Anniversary Parade premiered in May. It was the biggest parade Tivoli has ever produced, with five large floats with the themes food, music, dance, rides and gardens. The last float was designed by the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on the theme "it's a small small world". Aboard the float, the figures of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse sealed the good relationship between the two companies. This generated plenty of positive publicity, not least as Tivoli could describe that Walt Disney himself visited the Gardens many times gathering inspiration while Disneyland in California was being built.
Despite its title "Mor og far sidder i Grøften" (mum and dad sitting in The Ditch), Tivoli's anniversary show at The Glass Hall Theatre was not intended for children but for adults looking for a laugh. Peter Frödin, Anders W. Berthelsen, Mia Lyhne and Kirsten Lehfeldt delivered a sketch show with odd characters in mysterious scenarios they had based on Tivoli's history.
Tivoli's formal birthday, on 15 August, saw the premiere of the New York City Ballet's guest performance at the Tivoli Concert Hall – the first in 10 years. This was a happy reunion with one of the world's best ballet companies performing both classical and modern works.
On the birthday itself, fireworks also returned to Tivoli. The long dry summer had prohibited fireworks in Tivoli and consequently, this year's Midsummer's Eve bonfire was replaced by an electronic light installation. In mid-August, some rain finally fell, and Tivoli's big anniversary firework display was held as planned to the delight of the Gardens' visitors. The firework festival during Christmas in Tivoli could be held as planned to mark the anniversary as a tribute to Tivoli icons such as Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine and Tivoli's founder Georg Carstensen.
The anniversary was also celebrated with a special beer from Royal Unibrew, Cuvee Carstensen. The beer was created by master brewer Anders Kissmeyer, who included yuzu fruit to add a fresh flavour befitting the champagne-style beer. Wine connoisseur Peter Vinding-Diers blended a red wine and a white wine for H.J. Hansen Vine, Tivoli EtSyvFem. The red wine is full-bodied and fruity with notes of blackberry, plum, cherry and touches of spice combined with a finely balanced acidity and soft tannins. The white wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Viognier/Chardonnay. The artist Tal R illustrated the label.
The Tivoli Copenhagen Phil remains the focal point for classical music in Tivoli with its own, regular concerts as well as its role as the backbone of a range of individual events such as the family concert Tivoli by Night. The orchestra's performances in 2018 also included the Nutcracker and the guest performance by the New York City Ballet. As always, the 64 Summer Classic concerts spanned from a range of con amore concerts with free admission for visitors with Tivoli Passes to flagship concerts starring major global names such as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim, András Schiff and the Russian National Orchestra, rising stars like the pianist Daniil Trifonov, the tenor Bror Magnus Tødenes and the star violinist Ray Chen as well as fantastic Danish performers including Michala Petri, Andreas Brantelid and Katrine Gislinge.
On 24 June, Queen Ingrid's Honorary Grant was awarded to the Norwegian opera singer Lise Davidsen and ballerina Astrid Grarup Elbo from the Royal Danish Ballet.