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Tourism in Norway - statistics & facts

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism in Norway generated, directly and indirectly, roughly 4.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. The total contribution of travel and tourism to Norway’s GDP amounted to nearly 155 billion Norwegian kroner in 2020, decreasing sharply over the previous year, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this respect, the pandemic put the brakes on a sector that was gradually growing in importance, considering that the annual consumption expenditure of tourists in Norway increased steadily up to 2019, peaking at nearly 194 billion kroner. That year, air transport services were the products accounting for the highest tourism expenditure in Norway, followed by food and beverage services, and accommodations.

International and domestic tourism in Norway

Most international tourists visiting the country come from Europe, with travelers from Denmark, Germany, and Sweden recording the highest number of overnight stays in Norway in 2020. Overall, the annual consumption expenditure of international visitors rose consistently before the pandemic, reaching over 59 billion Norwegian kroner in 2019. However, domestic tourism consumption expenditure was significantly higher than international, adding up to over 107 billion kroner that year. With travel restrictions and lockdowns implemented during the health crisis hitting international tourism in particular, tourist expenditure on domestic trips in Norway was roughly three times as much as the tourist expenditure on outbound trips in 2020.

Tourism in Norway during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Given that they were among the countries reporting the highest number of overnight stays in 2020, Denmark and Sweden could play a relevant role in the Norwegian tourism market in 2021 as well. According to a survey conducted in April 2021, 10 percent of interviewed travelers from both these countries claimed they were planning to go on holiday in Norway over the next six months, while only four percent of tourists in France stated the same. That being said, the same study showed that 21 percent of surveyed French travelers saw Norway as a more attractive travel destination during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Denmark and Sweden were also some of the favorite summer holiday destinations among Norwegian tourists. They placed, respectively, second and third in the ranking of the preferred destinations of Norwegians for a vacation abroad in 2021, following Spain which topped the list that year.

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