Hurtigruten ads banned in China

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Norway’s famed coastal voyage called “Hurtigruten” had targeted the emerging market of Chinese tourists but suddenly seems to have found itself Shanghaied by Chinese authorities who are angry with the Norwegian government.

Shipping line Hurtigruten is well-known for its cruises along the scenic Norwegian coast, like here at Raftsundet off Lofoten, but now it can no longer promote either itself or Norway in China. PHOTO: Hurtigruten ASA

Hurtigruten will no longer be allowed to market or promote Norway or its coastal cruises along the Norwegian coast in China, according to the shipping line’s communications director Ragnar Norum.

Norum said Hurtigruten is being adversely affected by a new general ban on promotion of Norway as a tourist destination in China. Hurtigruten had planned to operate two charter flights between China and Norway this winter, for Chinese tourists keen on experiencing the Northern Lights, but Norum said the flights have now been cancelled.

The market “finally had begun to loosen a bit,” Norum said, adding that it was disappointing the shipping line’s ads are no longer allowed in China because of the ban on promotion of Norway and Norwegian companies.

The reason for the reported ban was unclear, but Chinese authorities were furious when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Diplomatic relations between China and Norway have been frozen ever since.

Views and News staff