Norway disappoints Chinese tourists

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Tourists from China spend more money than anyone else visiting Norway, but they’re also the least satisfied, Norway’s travel authorities have found. The Chinese seem to be most unhappy with hotel service levels, and with the food.

Plenty to smile about at toruist attractions like Oslo's Vigeland pro, but almost half of the Chinese tourists leave Norway unhappy with their experience. PHOTO:  newsinenglish.no

Plenty to smile about at tourist attractions like Oslo’s Vigeland park, but one in two Chinese tourists leave Norway unhappy with their experience. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

The number of Chinese visitors at Norwegian hotels doubled in July last year from the year before. The increase is expected to continue this year, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported on Wednesday.

According to Per-Arne Tuftin, tourism director for Innovation Norway, only 41 percent of Chinese tourists were “quite satisfied” with their Norway experience, while 12 percent left Norway “satisfied.” That indicates that almost half the Chinese visitors last year were not happy with their trip to Norway, DN reported.

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Russians are “quite satisfied” and the rest “satisfied,” suggesting no Russian tourists were unhappy.

Tuftin said he and his colleagues really don’t know why satisfaction levels were relatively low. “Our theory, though, is that the Chinese are used to more service at the hotels,” he told DN. Chinese visitors may leave Norway dissatisfied because they’re used to staying in Asian hotels that typically have far more staff than Norwegian hotels and  are renowned for their high levels of service.

“Perhaps we haven’t been sufficiently clear in our communication,” Tuftin told DN. “Costs are high in Norway, so tourists can’t expect as many hotel employees here as in Asia.” Tuftin said Innovation Norway will address the problem, aiming to bring expectations among the Chinese to a more “rational” level.

Vibeke Raddum, an executive at global tour operator Tumlare, suggested that some Asians are also accustomed to a more hierarchical system, and that most Chinese tourists are inexperienced travelers.

“Visitors from mature markets like Japan, Korea and Malaysia probably arrive prepared that there won’t be people everywhere, pulling out their chair and opening doors. But China is a relatively new market,” Raddum told DN.

She also pointed to the food available in Norway. “Yes, we have Chinese and Indian restaurants. But are they Chinese-Chinese and Indian-Indian, or are they Norwegian-Chinese and Norwegian-Indian?,” she asked. “Ten days without a touch of their own food culture gets to be a bit difficult. They need a bit of rice to be happy.”

newsinenglish.no staff

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  • Robert Cumming

    The problem is the Norwegian rating system, it doesn’t match up with European and world wide standards, what Norway calls 5 star is at best 4 stars in Europe although it’s more likely a 3 star. Yet Norwegian hotels charge excessive rates and provide very small rooms without the services people expect when they pay 200 Euro plus per night for a room.

    • jernfrost

      What are you comparing with? I’ve stayed in 3-4 star hotels in Brussels and San Fransisco and they were horrible compared to hotels in Norway with the same stars. Variations between just inside a country can be a huge. People are quick to make sweeping generalisations based on a couple of experiences. I am not saying my experience in Brussel or San Fransisco are definite sources of wisdom, just examples or the fact that anecdotes often aren’t of much value.

      • frenk

        The Radisson and Scandic are quite good for comfortable rooms…..but the food in most Norwegian hotels I have stayed in has been ‘unacceptable’ on occasions…

  • Charles

    I’d say it is more about managing expectations. This is a place for seafood and landscapes. If you have come to Norway for civilisation and luxury – you have come to the wrong place.

    • inquisitor

      “Managing expectations.”
      Yes, expect disappointment no matter how low you mentally go.

      “Civilisation and luxury.”
      When I walk into a restaurant, I expect adequate service, quality and a fair price. This is not asking too much.

  • the sage

    First things I noticed when I came to Norway. Food and service sucks.
    Anyone who puts Jarlsberg on a pizza deserves no culinary consideration.

    • inquisitor

      This is true. And Jarlsberg does not belong on a pizza.

  • Adam

    “They need a bit of rice to be happy.” lol, I can’t imagine Norwegians making comments like that is helping the situation.

    • inno

      one of the stupidest comment i’ve heard recently, for sure. it could just be the translation, but still, this is very representative of how much narrow a norwegian’s perspective is when it comes to the hospitality industry

    • jernfrost

      Maybe it sounds blunt and insensitive but It is true though. I am a Norwegian married to an asian-american, and the lack of rice in our diet drives her over the edge at times :-D I know a number of asians who have visited Norway or other northern countries and they really aren’t too keen on eating food which isn’t native to them.

      I am am 100% certain that better access to asian food in Norway would make asians in general a lot more happy about their stay. The kind of food eaten in Norway is quite at odds with the sort of food asians like.

    • inquisitor

      I can get rice of all kinds at the local Turkish owned market and the local Asian owned market.
      Arsenic levels in U.S. rice is alarmingly high, especially from Louisiana and Texas. Organic California grown rice from Lundberg Family farms comes in the lowest in arsenic, but the rice from India, Thailand and Vietnam have the lowest arsenic levels.

  • pingor

    the article is point very clearly to the main issue: in Asian hotels and shops there is a much larger number of employees assisting the customers and they always have a very subservient attitude that can’t be expected in Europe.

    This create a big gap of expectations that is difficoult for Chinese tourists to accept.

    The phrase about rice is quite appropriate: Chinese tourist really miss well prepared Chinese food.
    Even rice served in Norwegian restaurants taste different and heavier to them.
    Chinese are particularly concerned about food and they don’t really settle well with the more heavier and fattier European version of their dishes.

    • Robert Cumming

      Don’t say Europe because good hotels on the continent offer excellent service, stick with Norway and you’ll be more on point, Norwegians are not service minded people, the concept it beyond them.

      “Vibeke Raddum, an executive at global tour operator Tumlare, suggested
      that some Asians are also accustomed to a more hierarchical system, and
      that most Chinese tourists are inexperienced travelers.”

      I would think that by the time a Chinese person ever considers Norway as a holiday destination they will have been to many other locations first, Norway would not be the destination for a first time Chinese traveller.

      • guest

        I would have to agree with Robert and his points.

        As a tourist to any destination I am never looking for someone to be offering me my native cuisine, much less with quality that I am used to back home. That is so unrealistic that I don’t think that is even a factor attributed to this article,
        It isn’t a visitor’s fault from having too high or unrealistic expectations. as the Chinese are usually well traveled and can make their own sound comparisons.
        It isn’t on the customer…it’s on the attitude related to the service industry. Norway is not a tourist economy which reflects in the lack of service and absence of the right attitude if your income depended on making others feel comfortable and valuable,
        I grew up on a tourist economy and can tell you Norway gets an F- grade,

        • jernfrost

          Why do you need to blame anybody at all? Norwegian culture is very different from Asian culture. Naturally a the bigger the culture crash the less nice experience you will have.

          Politiness goes two ways. A lot of tourists countries have complained about Chinese tourists and their manners. E.g. Thailand which is even asian.

          • frenk

            Norway is easily the most boring country I’ve lived and worked in. I can understand tourists wanting to visit Norway for the scenery…but that novelty will pass after a couple of days…particularly when you discover how difficult it is the find an ‘average’ meal…and when you do eventually find something…how expensive it is….
            I was going to recommend Kongsberg for skiing to a few friends from the UK….but what about accommodation…and food…..better of going to France….you’ll get much more for your money!

            • jernfrost

              People have different ideas of what fun and boring is. I know people who thought Grand Forks, North Dakota was an awesome place to live. In general for people who are of the urban inclination Norway isn’t the place to be. Norway is for people who likes outdoor activities. For that I’d say it is hard to match. There are few if any capitals in the world were you can bring a pair or skies or Snowboard to work and get on the subway after work and got straight into the pists. In the summer there is great access to beaches and lakes.

              • frenk

                Mmmmm…..I note again your ‘classic Norwegian attitude’….all play…and very little…or, in some cases…no work!
                If Norwegians will not spend money….or actually allow businesses to open when they want to then services will not develop…and there will be little or nothing to do….so all you will have is skiing and going for walks or bicycle rides…..

                • jernfrost

                  Have I offended you in any way? You come off as very negative in your replies. You remind me a little bit of myself after a half a year in the US suffering from culture shock. I am not sure if you are familiar with the specifics of the condition, but a typical symptom is that after the initial excitement of your host culture wear off you start seeing everything in your host culture in a negative light. Individual bad experiences suddenly define the whole country in your mind.

                  No country is perfect at the goods and bads of any country appeals to different people. But your description gives an inflated negative view of Norway. It is hard to take serious somebody who claims Norwegians hardly work. Exactly what do you base such claims on?

                  Specifically want sort of services and business is it that you are looking for in Norway that hasn’t developed due to opening hours? Hard to reply to vague assertions.

                  • frenk

                    Its actually ‘quite painful’ to know that you are being ‘ripped-off’ at every opportunity…and to know that there is little or no choice…because of state sponsored monopolies…or farmers…or greedy unions…in essence…I seriously wonder about Norwegians ‘in general’…particularly why they accept so much government interference and control over their lives.
                    I was speaking to a Swede who lives and works in Norway and he stated….”yes…but Norwegians get so much for their money”…I nearly fell off my chair…!
                    I’m actually an independent, busy person…with a busy mind…so Norway is ‘difficult’…once my contract finishes I’m ‘very, very happy’ to move back to the EU!

                    • jernfrost

                      You have a lot of ideas about Norway, but I really don’t think you know much about what you are talking about. Greedy unions? That is just ignorance. If I understand correctly you are from the UK. Unions there almost destroyed the country. And you talk about greedy unions in Norway, which helped steer Norway through great economic difficulty in the 80s by agreeing to moderate wages increase for years to retain competitiveness. A lot of my family has deep roots in the labour movement, and they’ve been to the UK and lived there for many years and seen labour relations there. Where Norwegian unions and management try to work together, British unions and management have viewed each other as enemies and done their best to destroy British manufacturing.

                      When Kvaerner took over Trafalgar house in Britain they were shocked by the labour relations they found. Norwegian management called in the union to work together to save the company. They had never hear of such as thing as management and unions working together. No wonder, the UK is a class society where blue collar workers and management live on different planets. I could go on about the stuff I know people have seen in Britain. I just think it is rich for somebody from an anglo-saxon country coming to Norway and start talking about greedy unions. Just shows you know nothing about the history and traditions of unions in Norway.

                    • frenk

                      The unions…and their actions ‘devastated’ British industry in the 1960s, ’70s and 80’s…..British industry still has not fully recovered – what a waste that so many innovative and famous names have disappeared because the unions completely failed to embrace new technologies, new work practices etc. Thankfully the unions have more or less disappeared from the private sector.

                      With reagrds to Norway….I work in engineering and I regularly visit different worksites…and as I have stated on here before…not many Norwegians working…mostly eastern Europeans…and the owners of these businesses are trying to source as much of their equipment from abroad as possible as buying from Norwegian companies can be as much as 70% more expensive. I could go on…and on…but basically Norway and Norwegian industry is highly uncompetitive, prodctivity is pretty shocking….after oil and gas….fish products are you biggest export…I can’t see that changing anytime soon!

                    • jernfrost

                      That Norwegians are not as hard working as eastern Europeans dont’ necessarily mean they are bad workers. I know Norwegians in engineering who have visited British shipyards and their experience was that it was a lot less efficient than Norwegian ones. Not only that but there was prevalence of stealing and people did not work when bosses were not present. I have relatives who lived 20 years in Britain and talked about the same happening in office jobs. People stop working when the boss is not around. To Norwegians this was shocking.

                      I know people running businesses in the American car industry were workers and unions basically sabotage operations or suddenly don’t show up for work. I not claiming Norwegians are the hardest working by a long shot, but my impression is that they are generally loyal to their company, and work whether the boss is there or not. I hear people talk about working in Spain, where people don’t share skills or knowledge out of fear of being made obsolete. I know dutch who have run companies in eastern Europe. They might be hard working, but they are quick to exploit you if you show them too much trust. All countries have issues and different advantages.

                      Obviously Norwegian companies are going to be more expensive, when salaries are way higher.

                      After oil and gas, technology, services and products related to the oil industry is in fact the biggest export. This includes measuring meters, software for simulating or modeling oil fields, ships, rigs and all kind of equipment related to the oil sector. Norway is the leading nation in offshore technology and services. This will bring income long after the oil is gone from the north sea.

                      Besides what exactly is wrong with making money on fish? Both oil and fish are high tech sectors in Norway. It is smarter to get good at extracting raw materials efficiently and sell it than to manufacture goods which China can do for a fraction of the price. Look at all the manufacturing nations in Europe getting their industry destroyed by Chinese competition. Focusing all resources on the financial sector like Britain doesn’t seem like a wise move either as productivity does not grow as fast in the service sector and as the financial crisis showed, your gains can quickly get wiped out.

                      And Norway does have some high tech industries which are easier to protect. E.g. Norway is the worlds 18th largest arms exporter and that is mainly high tech stuff like micro drones, guns that can shoot around corners, heat seeking missiles, communication equipment etc. There is also a sizable aerospace industry.

                    • frenk

                      What makes you think Norway is a leader in offshore technology and services..? We have 200,000 people working in the oil business in Scotland….Norway only have 80,000…but your ‘oil industry’ is physically much larger…..this is because you are buying most of your equipment and expertise from us! I heard just yesterday that 2 Norwegians were ‘removed from their positions’ on location on an African project and replaced with Americans because of their attitude! And like in the American business unit I work in…most of the people ‘actually working’ are Portugese and Indians!

                      Most of what you’ve written above is ‘hot air’…

                    • jernfrost

                      There was an article last year in Teknisk Ukeblad I believe. It stated that Norwegian offshore market was the worlds largest and this was dominated by Norwegian companies which thus as a natural result become dominating in the world. Exactly how they calculated this I am not sure as e.g. big companies like Schlumberger are not Norwegian even if they have big branches here.

                      Having worked in the oil sector I’ve also met people from South America who claimed the went specifically to Norway to work on offshore related technology since Norway was regarded as a world leader.

                      With respect to the two Norwegians. I dont’ get your point. Yes assholes exist in Norway. Is that somehow news?

                      And with respect to working, hard to know exactly how you rate work, as I find that Brits can be very preoccupied with face time in the office. As if that is the equivalent of working. Just working hard isn’t always just enough. I’ve worked with really hard working Vietnamese, but we had to redo and fix a lot of the work as there was little emphasis on quality. Also there was a lack of initiative and a need to give very detailed and specific instructions to get work done.

                      Anyway I guess this is a rather pointless discussion as everybody has their own anecdotes and own observations and interpretations.

                      But looking at it from a birds eye perspective, Norwegian companies are managing quite well despite having some of the highest costs in the world. We can’t be doing everything wrong. GDP per capita in Norway is higher than most European nations even without oil, and it was higher than many other like UK, Netherlands, France etc before oil was struck. It isn’t my point to make this into some stupid pissing contest, I just want to reject the notion that Norway is some useless lazy nation that does most things wrong, and we all just live off government and oil.

                    • frenk

                      Without oil and gas Norway would be ‘dirt poor’…yes…you are right…most Norwegians are relying on oil and welfare payments….
                      Also, very recent article worth considering: http://www.newsinenglish.no/2015/02/12/laziness-behind-fall-in-productivity/

                    • jernfrost

                      Btw I don’t think you read properly when you read this statistics. Oil related industry in Norway increased employment with 80 000 the last 2 years or so. But the total number employed is 330.000

                    • frenk

                      At present, the industry is a complete cluster of 136,000 employees
                      divided into several sectors: Operators (22,000), Geo & Seismics
                      (4,000), Drill & Well (20,000), Topside (43,000), Subsea (13,000)
                      and Operations Support (34,000).

                    • jernfrost

                      You can look here for the 330 000 number: http://petro.no/330-000-i-oljen/

                    • frenk

                      Direct and in-direct…which basically means people that work in hotels, cleaners etc….

      • jernfrost

        I don’t think it is exclusive to Norway. Most Nordic countries and e.g. the Netherlands will likely feel similar to many tourists. All share a culture which is fairly blunt and egalitarian. I lived in the Netherlands with a several asians and the complaints they had seemed very similar to what I’d imagine they’d complain about in Norway as well.

        The hierarchy thing should not be dismissed either. In many places in asia they treat servants with the worst manners. Manners are typically regarded as only being required in one direction from those below to those above. I have a relative who lived in Thailand and who spent some time teaching her manners at restaurants as she behaved very rude towards staff. But that was seen as acceptable there.

        It is true that Norwegian aren’t really service minded, but this is the case many other places, and I don’t think it means norway is without virtues. Perhaps you disagree but I’d claim Norwegians might be unpolite but they are friendly. Not sure if that makes sense, but e.g. I’ve met a lot of English or Americans who are very polite but extremely unfriendly at the same time.

        • frenk

          I mentioned in another post that I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago…..’de-stressing’ from a month of ‘cabin fever’ in Norway….traveling there is like a ‘time machine’ into the future 20 years compared to Norway. Quality of life isn’t just about holidays and going for walks….everyday can be interesting if you life in an ‘interesting places create interesting people’….

          • jernfrost

            I love the Netherlands and I’ve lived there for several years and considered settling there but your comment that it is like going 20 years into the future strikes me as rather odd.

            It is definitely not a sense of being in the future that attracts me to the Netherlands, rather the opposite. What I love about the Netherlands are the historical neighbourhoods, with centuries old charming houses, with lots of little speciality stores and cafes. Things that died out 20 years ago in Norway as modern shopping habits took over, with hypermarkets and malls. Old fashion politeness. The dutch address each other in speak in manners which is somewhat similar to Norway a generation back.

            I love the old fashion city bikes over the modern mountain bikes or racing bikes dominating Norway today. I find it charming with all the antiques that dutch people decorate their houses with, where Norway is dominated by modern Scandinavian minimalism.

            I love the old dutch markets where you get buy troop waffles, vegetables, poofertjes and all kinds of things. Las time there was any real markets in Norway I was a little kid.

            Western cities are turning into doughnuts dominated by malls and hypermarkets and a car shopping culture. The Netherlands is among the few European countries which have manage to keep their city centers alive and thriving, maintain the older ways of life.

            So again, I really do find your idea of Netherlands as modern highly peculiar. I guess your idea of modern involves very different things from me.

            As a Norwegian, I honestly find a lot of the world rather old fashion. Most places I go you still can’t pay for a cab ride with a credit card. You have been able to do that in Norway at least since the 80s. You can’t pay the pizza delivery guy with a card. In the US they still use cheques. In the 80s in Britain they still kept writing bank transaction by pen and paper long after Norway had made it electronic.

            • frenk

              Wow…..your response is ‘classic Norwegian’….Holland = business orientated, market orientated, liberal, open-minded, technologically advanced, world-class education and health system, world-class transport system, highly cultured, interesting…
              Your ‘Norwegian’ focus is on ‘mountain bikes’…and paying for taxis with bank cards…
              Norwegians today live in cheap, modern, pre-fabricated homes that generally look good from the outside…like the house I live in….but all the fixtures and fittings inside are of the $1 variety…cheap and nasty…

              • jernfrost

                Business oriented and cultured doesn’t necessarily mean modern. Holland has always been this. That isn’t a modern development.

                Holland is of course refreshingly more liberal than Norway in many areas, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a lot more conservative than Norway in others. E.g. attitudes to gender and family I find a lot more conservative in the Netherlands. Working mothers is a lot less common in the Netherlands than Norway. Gender roles are more pronounced.

                And in what way do you think Holland is so much more technologically advance than Norway or why do you think the health system is so much better? I’ve worked in the tech sector in both Norway and the Netherland and I’ve used health care both places. So I’d be interested in knowing so more specifics on why the difference is so stark as you present it as. I certainly didn’t see it.

                “Cheap and nasty of the $1 variety” it is hard to take such statements serious. I lived in both the US and the Netherlands for many years. I have a brother who has lived in several other countries for years. None of us has had this kind of experience, quite the reverse. E.g. frames in American houses are often cheap plastic. How often do you see that in Norway? Walls between rooms are paper thin. You can easily hear your neighbours between the walls. Just look at something simple like doors between the rooms in a dutch house and a Norwegian. Usually everything about the door in Holland is more plain, down to the door handle. Windows and doors are less properly insulated. Kitchen benches Holland are often just metal sheets. Practical, but hardly sophisticated.

                I apologize to any dutch person here for putting down my beloved Netherlands in this way. It is just my own lack of imagination in trying to illustrate why I don’t think Norwegians houses can be said to be any more poorly done inside than say a Dutch or American house.

                • frenk

                  I don’t believe in…or come from a country where ‘state sponsored social engineering’ has been tolerated/accepted like it is in Norway. I would be ‘horrified’ if my wife chose to return to work when she should be looking after young children at home. In most cases in Norway woman are ‘pushed/forced’ back into the workplace because they simply cannot afford not to work because of the cost of living here (due to the rip-off culture). I’ve heard the matter raised time and time again in Norway…….it’s even a political issue.

                  With reference to your comments above…businesses hire ‘real people’, doing ‘real work’…the only way for businesses to survive and thrive is to be ‘modern and cutting edge’….Norway does not appear to have this yet – most businesses are state controlled…or only survive via state sponsored monopolies….

                  Houses are built this way in Norway to ‘cut costs’ at every opportunity…..

                  • jernfrost

                    My wife has stayed home for years, not that difficult. It sucks economically, but doable. Not sure if the UK is very admirable in this regard when it is national news that there is one guy in all of the UK working in pre-school. You also conveniently gloss over the fact that in many countries including the UK, child care is so prohibitively expensive that it makes no sense for the wife to work unless she makes good money.

                    Most business is state controlled? What because the state owns shares in Statoil? It is run like a regular company. What are all these other state own companies or monopolies? Doesn’t sound like you are very well informed on the conditions in Norway. You come with the wildest assertions.

                    • frenk

                      Not sure what your point is regarding ‘men’ working with pre-school children….but…as a ‘traditionalist’…that sounds like a ‘woman’s job’….?
                      Anyway…there was once a guy on here called ‘Tom’…I don’t know if it’s possible to work through the discussions we used to have with him about the Norwegian monopolies…dairy, meat, gambling, alcohol, import tariffs…the supermarkets….etc…..etc…

                    • jernfrost

                      Okay, I get why you hate Norway so much now. You sound like a right wing tory kind of guy. Obviously Norway isn’t going to be your cup of tea. That is fine, you don’t need to like Norway, but I wish you didn’t make up a lot of stuff and distort the truth.

                      You extrapolate from such things as alcohol and agricultural policies in Norway to make sweeping generalisations.

                      I don’t favour Norwegian agricultural policy either, I wish e.g. I could buy cheap dutch Gauda in store. But as with any policy it has pros and cons. Norway has the least amount of antibiotics usage in agricultural sector. Even if you eat raw egg and chicken there is almost no chance of catching salmonella. There are few additives in the food and salt usage is lot lower in most food products than what is the case in the rest of the EU. We haven’t the prevalence of mad cow disease and other related issues brought about by the mono culture practiced in the EU.

                      Sure alcohol prices are stiff, but we also have among the lowest if not the lowest alcohol consumption in Europe. Norway was traditionally part of the vodka belt. While not ideal, today’s policy is likely better than dealing with Russian style alcohol problems.

                      But I get that you mainly want to focus on the negative rather than make the best of your involuntarily stay in Norway.

                    • frenk

                      I don’t have time to go though all this issues again i.e. I’ve argued these points out before! I’m a pro-market, centerist liberal….so…you are correct…Norway is certainly not for me….a mixture of communism and faschism!

                      I’m ‘pro-choice’….I don’t need or want the government or the unions telling me how I should live my life…when I can go shopping…where and when I can buy a bottle of wine. Simple things……I’ll make the decisions for myself thank you.

                    • inquisitor

                      Norway sucks bro’. Many of its people are narrow-minded assholes.
                      There…said it.

    • inquisitor

      Best Chinese food restaurant in Oslo is called…”Dinner”.
      Excellent food, excellent service.
      I was surprised.

  • frenk

    The Norwegian economy ‘casually’ subsidizes itself…you have an ‘enormous’ public sector – the public sector accounts for 52% of Norway’s GDP. Without oil Norway would not be able to support this and would quickly become one of the poorest countries in Europe as you don’t export anything other than fish products – your exports are actually dropping year after year…the statistics support this.

    Norway has between 400,000 and 600,000 welfare recipients…all receiving very generous handouts…again…this is subsidizing the economy and is one of the reasons why it is so expensive here. Yet, Norway manages to support 200,000 migrant workers?

    Norway ‘a great economic miracle’….mmm….with a government that subsidizes frozen pizza production…!?!?

    • jernfrost

      I don’t know how many times I catch you in just making up your own facts about Norway. Public sector in Norway makes up 43.9 %, which is at the lower end in Europe. Denmark and France are at 57% and 56% e.g. And capitalist UK is at 48.6%. Norway has always had a smaller public sector than most of the other nordic countries.

      Check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

      Without oil Norway still has export from the oil services industry, which is bigger than the fish exports. Then there is the maritime fleet.

      As for welfare recipients, you keep harping on this despite pointing out Norway has among the worlds highest labour participation rate. People are not bumming around receiving welfare checks. It is more people bumming around in the rest of the world. Except these people are living of their parents, friends, savings or former husbands. Norway has a lot of people getting some sort of benefits because the system doesn’t let people fall between the cracks.

      • frenk

        I don’t ‘fact check’ using Wikipedia…its a ‘free online encyclopedia’.
        Without oil…Norway would not have an oil services industry. Without oil…Norway would not have much of a maritime fleet.

        The public sector accounts for 52% of Norway’s GDP, and 30% of total
        employment. The government’s annual tax revenue equates to 43.6% of GDP,
        a figure that trails only Denmark (49%), Belgium (46.8%), Sweden
        (45.8%), and France (44.6%) in the OECD.

        http://foreignaffairsreview.co.uk/2013/05/norway-mode/

        • jernfrost

          Lots of sources besides Wiki to check but they are convenient to refer to as they are online and provide links to were they got their data from.

          Anyway pointless to keep arguing with you as you keep inventing your own facts. Norway’s maritime fleet was among the worlds largest long before oil was discovered anybody with internet access can check that for themselves.

          Government expenditure is more relevant than taxation rate relative to GDP in Norway’s case. For government expenditure as percentage of GDP Norway is behind: Denmark, Sweden, France, Finland, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Slovenina, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Hungary, Portugal, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Icleand, Ukraine, Germany, Serbia, Spain etc. You get the point.

          Taxation as percentage of GDP isn’t relevant to Norway with respect to sustainability because it is artificially inflated by the high taxation rate on the oil industry. This is money which is mostly saved in the oil fund so it isn’t a rate Norway depends on in the future. The oil fund is already big enough to finance government expenditures without using any oil money directly.

          • frenk

            You are ‘massively over-complicating’ issues here?
            The average Norwegian eats more that 8kg of hotdogs a year……you are munching through 30 million frozen pizzas a year….I could continue with what I personally consider ‘astonishing’ facts about Norwegian life. So, as you say ‘Taxation as a percentage of blah, blah, blah…..’….try spending your wealth on something ‘acceptable’ to eat? A good diet is supremely important to your health and well being…surely this should be a priority for the Norwegian government?