US tourism to Norway still up on 'Frozen effect'
Two years after the Disney hit Frozen put Norway firmly on the tourism map, the number of Americans flocking to experience the picturesque homeland of the Snow Queen Elsa and her kooky sister Anna continues to climb.
“We are hoping that the US market continues to grow this year,” Mona Raa Ravndal from Innovation Norway, told the country’s TV2 broadcaster. “Compared to this time last year we are a little ahead.”
Norwegian Airlines is reporting a 30 percent jump in the number of American tourists flying to Norway on its planes this year compared to the first half of last year.
Innovation Norway signed a partnership deal with Disney to promote the film in May 2013, six months before its release, a deal which has proven to be a brilliant move, given the film’s huge success, grossing $400m by July last year.
Disney’s cartoonists were sent on a two-week trip to Norway to soak in the sights of Norway and the film includes several Norwegian landmarks, including the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and Bryggen in Bergen.
The landscape around the kingdom of Arendelle was inspired by the narrow Nærøyfjord.
This year’s growth comes on top of a 31 percent leap in the number nights spent by US guests in Norwegian hotels from 2013 to 2014.
The increase in US tourism has also been helped by the strong dollar, which has made Norway the most affordable it has been for Americans since 2002.
Norwegian Airlines also in 2013 started offering direct flights between Norway and the US at reasonable rates.
“We are now flying about as many Americans as Norwegians to and from the US West coast,” Norwegian’s spokesman Lasse Sandakerveien-Nielsen told the channel. “On the New York-Bergen, route, we are flying more Americans than people from Bergen.”