Tourists shun Norway / News / The Foreigner

Tourists shun Norway. A new report shows Norway’s losing out on the fight for tourists. Over two billion kroner has been used on marketing in the last 10 years, but there’s been little improvement since 1998. Per-Arne Tuftin, Innovation Norway’s director of tourism and head of the country's international marketing, blames the global recession. He claims the figures don’t tell the whole story, and believes the tourist industry will recover within two years. “Hotels should have performed better, but the numbers improve if you take account of the international traffic as a whole,” he tells Aftenposten, explaining more guests are now choosing cabins (hytter) instead.

innovation, norway, tourism, decline, drop, horwath, consulting, report, world, tourism, organization, european, travel, commission, numbers, petter, stordalen, choice, hotels



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Tourists shun Norway

Published on Tuesday, 6th July, 2010 at 13:28 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 6th July 2010 at 13:53.

A new report shows Norway’s losing out on the fight for tourists. Over two billion kroner has been used on marketing in the last 10 years, but there’s been little improvement since 1998.

Norwegian flag over Bergen
Norwegian flag over Bergen
Photo: alex-s/Flickr


“Invisible”

Per-Arne Tuftin, Innovation Norway’s director of tourism and head of the country's international marketing, blames the global recession. He claims the figures don’t tell the whole story, and believes the tourist industry will recover within two years.

“Hotels should have performed better, but the numbers improve if you take account of the international traffic as a whole,” he tells Aftenposten, explaining more guests are now choosing cabins (hytter) instead.

Figures from both the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and European Travel Commission show 2009’s decrease in tourist numbers was larger than for the entire European travel market.

Last summer saw a drop of 24 percent drop in comparison to 1999, according to the report from Horwath Consulting.

“We should and could have had more tourists. But Norway is still invisible and unknown abroad, and the marketing budget is far too small,” says the company’s travel industry expert, Per-Erik Winther.

A waste

Innovation Norway’s travel department is in charge of allocating money from the government. 235 million kroner is to be used on marketing this year alone, an increase of 100 million since 2005. But according to PR-strategist Bjørn B. Jacobsen, nobody’s asked how the money is used.

The organisation’s also been blamed for the tourism dry-up. Many in the industry believe it’s got its priorities wrong.

Petter Stordalen, head of the Choice Hotel chain, criticises Innovation Norway for having wasted millions of kroner on the Asian Market instead of concentrating on Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, and UK.

“Why do we pump so much of our marketing into new, immature markets miles away from Norway both geographically and culturally?,” he asks in his blog.

Sweden and Denmark attract more foreign tourists than Norway, which is the 48th largest country for tourism worldwide.

The report concludes: “it’s a dramatic decline in terms of what the growth in international tourism has been.”




Published on Tuesday, 6th July, 2010 at 13:28 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 6th July 2010 at 13:53.

This post has the following tags: innovation, norway, tourism, decline, drop, horwath, consulting, report, world, tourism, organization, european, travel, commission, numbers, petter, stordalen, choice, hotels.





  
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