2019 marks the end of a three-year strategic period during which Tivoli has been consolidated as a year-round business, visitor satisfaction has soared to the top and the financial performance has been favourable, thus providing a strong basis for Tivoli’s future. The new strategy 2020 will carry on the development of Tivoli.
Tivoli’s result for 2019 is DKK 209,1 million which is the best performance ever in the long history of the Company. This also means a record-high dividend distribution to the Company’s shareholders. Adjusted for special items, the transfer of TivoliCasino.dk to Danske Spil and the replacement of the annual card by the Tivoli Pass, the profit before tax for 2019 is at the level of the record year 2018. In 25 years, Tivoli’s profit has been increased from a small double-digit million amount to a profit running into three-digit millions as a result of an extensive turn-around and development, including upgrading of both the amusement park and the business.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Everything begins and ends with the 82,000 square metres at Vesterbrogade 3 and the experiences offered by the Gardens. Tivoli’s ability to continue attracting many visitors is the very foundation of its business. Consequently, the Gardens must develop as the preferences and needs of visitors change; Tivoli’s current competitive environment is totally different from that of 1843 when Tivoli was more or less the only provider of entertainment for the public.
The strong financial performance has created a basis for large investments in the Gardens. In 2019, Tivoli has invested DKK 184,4 million of which DKK 79,6 million relate to upgrades and new acquisitions of Tivoli rides in 2019. Further investments were also made in developing Winter in Tivoli, the newest Tivoli season, which still holds potential.
Digitisation is another area that attracts major investments. The initiative most noticeable to Tivoli visitors is the Tivoli Pass, which has now been in operation for a full year as a season pass valid for up to 12 months, as well as the personalised solutions in My Tivoli and Tivoli Lux (personal pass holder profiles and reward programme). Tivoli staff reap digital benefits through improved possibilities of accessing Tivoli’s systems from mobile devices, which facilitates their daily routines of variable working hours and places.
Strategy 2020 defines Tivoli’s three core values as diversity, integrity and sustainability. The values will rule Tivoli’s development as a workplace, attraction and business. Strategy 2020 still takes as its outset the Gardens at Vesterbrogade 3, which will be developed with all due respect to the tradition of engaging experiences for a broad audience. Tivoli furthermore aspires to become more active and visible in its neighbouring environment through more activities at Axelborg, the property project in the Tivoli Castle and the vision of a green city park at the eastern end of Vesterbrogade. The strategy also accommodates thoughts of Tivoli capturing a larger share of tourism revenue by creating new services. Moreover, Tivoli is looking to activities farther away; using the Tivoli and Nimb brands as strong calling cards, Tivoli is exploring opportunities of creating strong partnerships.
Towards the end of 2019, a top management succession process was launched at Tivoli as efforts to recruit Lars Liebst’s successor as CEO began. Lars Liebst was appointed CEO in July 1996 and has thus been at the helm of Tivoli for almost a quarter of a century. The development described above is largely attributable to Lars and his influence on modern-day Tivoli is significant. We thank him sincerely for this great effort.
However, no CEO can do without qualified and committed employees. Therefore, I take this opportunity to thank sincerely everyone who has contributed towards the Tivoli experience during the year - be they artistic, administrative or operational staff.
The work of the past 15 years to make Tivoli a year-round business that is less dependent on the weather represents a furthering of the business areas that Georg Carstensen described to the King of Denmark when he gained permission to open Tivoli: a green park, rides and games, restaurants, food stands and cafés and, last but not least, stages offering a varied programme of culture.
Most income is generated during Tivoli's open seasons. The Tivoli Gardens were open on 270 days in 2019, and while the Danish weather verged on an all-time precipitation record with 905 mm of rain, Tivoli's visitors remained loyal and supported the wealth of activities on offer.
The proportion of foreign tourists among Tivoli visitors in 2019 was 30 %, with Swedes as the people most likely to visit, closely followed by Americans. Tivoli’s visitors are still extremely satisfied with their visits and happy to recommend Tivoli to others. In particular, the special Tivoli atmosphere is cited as a reason for visiting, with "going for a walk in Tivoli" as number two, and there is an argument that these are two sides of the same coin.
The House of Nimb, encompassing a hotel, restaurants and events, referred to in a commercial context as Tivoli High End, continued its success and, at the end of the year, made international travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller's Gold List for 2020.
The magazine is aimed at the luxury segment, and each year it issues a list of the world's must-visit hotels. Nimb Hotel is the only hotel in the Nordic Region to have made this distinguished list. The hotel's occupancy rate is still very high.
Growth at Nimb
Nimb is offering more and more events, which are particularly well-received by visitors. Roast pork and bingo at Fru Nimb, Classy Halloween celebration at Nimb Bar or a sunset DJ set at Nimb Roof are just a few examples of Nimb events for which visitors are queuing up.
In early summer, Mette Dahlgaard of Restaurant Gemyse released a cookbook packed with recipes for the innovative plant-based dishes that are her speciality. Later in the summer, she and the Gemyse team were invited to a food festival at the EPCOT Center in Florida, USA, where hundreds of American guests were offered carrot tartare and more.
Nimb's adventurous facilities
The Nimb Events hospitality business has grown during the course of the year. Whether for smaller meetings at Gemyse or large parties in the Box Hall and Axelborg Hall, the venues are in great demand. During the year, Tivoli has hosted AGMs of banks, a Christmas party for an energy company, a barbecue in the Balanchine Lounge at the top of the Concert Hall, and plenty of summer events at Nimb Roof, to name just a few examples.
Restaurants and food stands
Tivoli's efforts to offer more sustainable meals continue. Organic Days were held for the first time in Tivoli this September, in partnership with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. The festival had three elements: a seminar for the industry, a training course for middle school students, and a weekend of activities for Tivoli visitors, who had opportunities to guess about, taste and learn about organic food. In connection with the festival, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration presented Tivoli with ten diplomas for the Danish Organic Cuisine Label. Six were for existing food brands, while four were new: the Tivoli Coffee Bar at the Open Air Stage, Woodhouse Lounge, Woodhouse Burger and Frikadellen.
In December, Tivoli F&B opened the Lobster Shack in the Tivoli Food Hall. This is the first time Tivoli has set up a stand in the Tivoli Food Hall, where La Baracca, Wakha and La Playa also opened in 2019. The restaurants and food stands in the Tivoli Food Hall were rated positively in Tivoli's analyses, with visitors indicating that they find the choice of food here particularly relevant. More and more of Tivoli's visitors are also aware of and have visited the Tivoli Food Hall.
As of 2019, customers can shop online in Little Tivoli, and the online shop was inundated with orders when a new tealight holder in the style of Tivoli's main entrance was launched jointly by Tivoli and Kähler. The number of items produced in-house is growing, with new wooden figures inspired by the Flying Trunk, Christmas decorations featuring Tivoli patterns, and even a biscuit tin containing music. Eight out of the ten most popular products in Little Tivoli are produced in-house.
In the Alley, a classic Tivoli activity returned when musician and artist Jørgen Klubien set up shop as a paper silhouette cutter. Klubien also works as a creative consultant and source of inspiration for Tivoli's designers and architects.
The Summer Classic consisted of 67 concerts in 2019, of which 30 were ticketed. There was music for children, there were entertaining concerts featuring famous hosts, such as the Price brothers and Pernille Rosendahl, and a variety of traditional concerts starring international orchestras and soloists along with the Tivoli Copenhagen Phil.
One of the year's innovations was the Sing Along concerts. The soloists chose the repertoire and had the whole room singing along to Danish classics and hits from the musicals.
The performance of Waiting premiered in Bergen and then arrived in Tivoli. The music was by Grieg, performed by Copenhagen Phil, with text/libretto by Karl Ove Knausgård, and the performance was staged by Catalan director Calixto Bieito.
In the autumn, Tivoli entered into an extended partnership for planning the Summer Classic programme with Tivoli Copenhagen Phil – which for most of the year covers the whole of Zealand, transforming in the summertime into the Tivoli Copenhagen Phil. This will improve the relationship between the orchestra's profile and repertoire throughout the year. A combined audience identity is also expected to be created.