The Norwegian government plans to cut more than 20 percent out of its funding for tourism marketing next year. The state budget presented on Monday still includes NOK 180 million to help promote Norway, but that’s NOK 51.5 million less than last year.
The government claims that increased digitalization and use of social media has lessened the need for state-financed marketing. Tourism industry officials fear the budget cuts, however, will make Norway “dramatically” less visible abroad.
Many Norwegians who feel Norway is in the process of being overrun by tourists, especially in places like Bergen and Lofoten, are likely to applaud the cuts. Kristin Krohn Devold, a former government minister herself who now heads the tourism industry branch of the national employers’ organization NHO, claims the cuts will adversely affect small communities and areas that haven’t yet been discovered on social media and still need promotion.
“The majority of destinations in Norway have too few visitors,” Devold told state broadcaster NRK after the state budget was presented on Monday. It’s widely viewed as a tighter budget that contains other cuts, all in an effort to crack down on government spending.