Norwegian prices and service put tourists off / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian prices and service put tourists off. Wealthy tourists are dropping Norway in favour of its European competitors. The country’s travel industry is lacking competence and suffering from mediocrity, claims one researcher. “A very large part of the travel industry is made up of semi-skilled workers. There needs to be a much closer connection between the best resources and the best products,” Sondre Svalastog, Professor of Economics at Lillehammer University College (Høgskolen i Lillehammer) tells The Foreigner. Svalastog has analysed the industry’s competitiveness, and the results don’t make pleasant reading.

sondre, svalastog, lillehammer, university, college, norway, tourism, decline, drop



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Norwegian prices and service put tourists off

Published on Monday, 23rd August, 2010 at 13:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Wealthy tourists are dropping Norway in favour of its European competitors. The country’s travel industry is lacking competence and suffering from mediocrity, claims one researcher.

Scaring away the birds
Scaring away the birds
Photo: Gaute Bruvik/Avinor


Harsh international competition

“A very large part of the travel industry is made up of semi-skilled workers. There needs to be a much closer connection between the best resources and the best products,” Sondre Svalastog, Professor of Economics at Lillehammer University College (Høgskolen i Lillehammer) tells The Foreigner.

Svalastog has analysed the industry’s competitiveness, and the results don’t make pleasant reading.

Norway only managed to attract just over 0.4 percent of the international tourism turnover last year, according to figures published by Aftenposten.

Many industry players believe the problem is connected with poor marketing abroad, but Norway’s black gold adventure is also partly to blame.

“Competing internationally is much harder in a high-cost than a low-cost country,” says Svalastog.

But Norway’s “problem” isn’t reflected in other similarly costly European countries such as Switzerland and France that have managed to keep their competitiveness.

“Switzerland is in an extremely good location, and France has the cultural image, such as philosophy, literature, films, and painting.”

Not entirely hopeless

Austria wasn’t part of his analysis, but Svalastog goes on to say whilst its structure is different to Switzerland’s, it’s more developed for small-scale foreign tourism than here.

He does believe there is a glimmer of hope for Norway, however, despite the noticeable tourism decline in what’s known as “the five-percent market” especially.

“There are so many and large weaknesses that it should be possible to achieve something,” he tells Aftenposten.



Published on Monday, 23rd August, 2010 at 13:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: sondre, svalastog, lillehammer, university, college, norway, tourism, decline, drop.





  
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