Did you drop visiting Norway on your vacation? If you did, you are in good company. According to the Norwegian Tourist Board, tourists are skipping Norway, and Norwegians only have themselves to blame.
As Norway is loosing the competition, the Norwegian Tourist Board demand increased marketing abroad. The Department of Foreign Affairs admits that Norway is just about invisible abroad.
The number of vacation trips has increased between 2 and 3 percent world wide the last five years, while the numbers for Norway are everything but encouraging. New numbers from Statistics Norway indicate that the number of Norwegian and foreign hotel visits has decreased with two and eight percent during the first nine months of this year.
Sweden, Denmark and Finland have had a positive development, while Norway has had a negative one during the nine first months of the year.
We are loosing to the international competition in a growing market, admitted Børre Berglund, deputy general manager in the Norwegian Tourist Board (NTR) to the national daily, Aftenposten. An important thing is that we do not have any direction in the marketing.
In the proposed national budget for next year, NTRs funding has been cut by NOK 17 million (USD 2.4 million). This years cut was NOK 12 million (USD 1.7 million).
A five-year plan to increase the brand name building of Norway, which was approved by Stortinget in 2000, was abandoned after only a year, said Elin Bolann, CEO in Fjord Norge AS to the paper. Norwegian tourism can not work professionally in conditions like these.
The industry fears that it will suffer even more because of decrease in visits, which again lead to more cutbacks, if the marketing of Norway does not become more aggressive.
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