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Norway's tourism boom shows no signs of slowing down

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NTB/The Local - [email protected]
Norway's tourism boom shows no signs of slowing down
Northern Lights are one of the attractions that draw tourists to Northern Norway. Photo: Jan-Morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix

Norway’s tourism industry had a banner year in 2016, thanks in large part to the Tromsø region.

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Troms County Municipality had the country’s biggest tourism increase, attracting 32 percent more tourists from abroad than last year. 
 
Northern Norway has experienced a strong increase in guests from the US, Asia and southern Europe. Numbers are also up slightly among British and German tourists. 
 
Norwegians who holiday elsewhere in the country represent the largest tourist group, followed by Germans, Swedes, Danes, Brits and the Dutch.
 
Nationally, Norway saw an 11 percent increase in tourism, measured by the number of overnight stays.
 
“We are probably best known for the north, mountains and fjords, but we have wonderful experiences to offer all over Norway. We want more tourists, who will spend even more money,” Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland said in a press release.
 
Norway has seen a sharp rise in the number of tourists since Disney's film Frozen, which was developed with the support of Norway's tourism agency, came out in 2013. Not everyone is happy about the newfound attention, however. 
 
Earlier this year, the mayor of Flakstad in Nordland complained that the growth in tourism was “challenging”, warning that infrastructure was already at breaking point, with acute problems with waste disposal, public toilets and parking, and severe erosion on paths leading to popular coastal locations.  
 
The famous Trolltunga promontory has also become such a popular destination for tourists that mountain rescue services can hardly manage to come to the aid of all of the ill-prepared tourists who run into trouble on their hike. 
 
The government is expected to unveil a new tourism strategy early in the new year. 

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