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Friday, July 19, 2024

Norwegians traveling more than ever

As Norwegians tucked into their annual five-day Easter holiday came news that many of them are traveling more than ever. New studies show they’re willing to spend large sums on adventure travel, from mountain climbing in the Himalayas to ski trips over the South Pole. 

Trade association Virke reports that Norwegians collectively are spending around NOK 25 billion on travel every year. The biggest growth segment, according to newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), is in “extreme experiences” all over the globe.

Local travel firm Hvitserk specializes in expeditions and adventure travel and reported its best year ever, with revenues up fully 50 percent to NOK 28.5 million. Price tags of as much as NOK 400,000 (USD 70,000) for a trip out of the ordinary aren’t unusual.

“Trips you can talk about in the canteen at work seem to attract the most folks,” Trygve Sunde Kolderup of Hvitserk told DN. “Some are willing to pay a lot and many can afford it, while others still think it’s strange to exhaust yourself during a holiday.”

He confirmed that some tour offerings are demanding, like an 8,000-meter trek in the Himalayas that involves lots of climbing. His firm has also escorted Norwegians on skis over Greenland and the South Pole, and in climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

Norwegian tourism officials, meanwhile, are stressing adventure travel as they once again try to get Norwegians to holiday at home. Worried that the euro crisis will cut into business this year, they’re promoting everything from white-water rafting on Norwegian rivers to hikes on Svalbard, where polar bears are an ever-present risk, and delight.

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