After several years without much increase, the number of tourists to Norway is now going up. 2014 will be the best season for tourism in Norway in many years.
So far the number of overnight stays in Norway has gone up by four percent compared to last year, which equals an increase from 4,9 million overnight stays during the first seven months of 2013, to 5,1 million overnight stays during the same time period this year.
The development in Norwegian tourism has been slow the past few years, and visits from Norway's largest markets - Germany, Sweden and Denmark - have been disappointing.
This year, however, director of tourism in Innovation Norway Per Arne Tuftin reports several signs of a positive development:
- The number of foreigners that come to Norway is increasing.
- More Norwegians choose to spend their vacation in the home country.
- The number of package holidays from Norway to Southern Europe is going down.
Tuftin also explains that more direct flights from important markets such as Southern Europe and the US, as well as a better economy in these countries, have helped entice tourists to choose Norway as their holiday destination.
However, the tourists want to experience different parts of Norway, depending on where they come from. Whereas the Germans are mainly in Norway to experience the mountains and nature, visitors from outside of Europe say that they are most interested in sightseeing. In surveys this is also the only group that states that they wish to experience local food and beverages.
One of best summers of all time in Norway, with temperatures well above 30 degrees, made it easier for Norwegians to choose to stay at home. Figures from Innovation Norway show that Norwegians flew 13 percent more domestic flights in this year's second quarter than they did during the same time period last year.