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Few foreign tourists to Norwegian winter wonderland

Fewer and fewer foreign tourists visit Norwegian winter sport locations, but Norwegians are becoming more and more pleased with their own winter sport destinations.

Norwegian winter tourist destinations have had a falling number of visitors from the major markets of Denmark, Sweden and Germany during the last five years, according to statistics presented by Norske Fjell, a marketing company owned by the 23 largest winter sport locations in Norway and the Norwegian Tourist Board.

However, the winter sport locations are getting an increasing number of Norwegian and British visitors. Great Britain is an emerging market for the Norwegian winter tourism.

“This indicates that we have not done enough aggressive marketing, that we have not been able to reach the people who have not visited the area before with the information about how great our product is,” said Andreas Rødven, daily manager of Norsk Fjell and Norske Skiheisers Forening to the daily Aftenposten. “The people who have been here consider the product to be very good.”

The foreigners are choosing winter sport locations in Sweden and in the Alps in stead of Norway. One reason may be the high Norwegian Krone, and another reason may be that other vacation spots are better advertised.

Arvid Flagestad, professor at Handelshøyskolen BI and European Tourism Research Institute, claims that the Norwegian, Swedish and Finish tourist destinations should coordinate their marketing towards Europe and focus on a Nordic winter tourism concept.

“We just can’t sit back and expect that money will be flowing out of the beautiful Norwegian mountains,” Flagstad said. “We have work actively with product development and alliance building as long as we are not price competitive.”

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