Destination Norway? How to avoid over-tourism and people pollution

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Over-tourism in the Geiranger fjord Photo: Sunnmørsposten

Why travel to Norway?

A increasing part of the global population lives in cities. A stronger global focus on intact nature, greenhouse gases and other pollution emerges. An increasing number of tourists wants to avoid destinations that are affected by tribulation, noise and littering. Instead they choose a travel that considers the environment. More tourists requests the destinations that offers fresh air, healthy activities, and protection of culture and nature.

The breathtaking Norwegian nature is our main attraction, with fjords, mountains, waterfalls, northern lights and intact nature. Many travellers long to experience spectacular viewpoints and hikes. Norway can offer an abundance of opportunities  for activities in nature, combined with local food, cultural heritage, a vibrant cultural life and a great variety of accommodation.

The challenge: Over-tourism and people pollution

“Over-tourism describes destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably.”

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Over-tourism illustrated. Photo: Aftenposten v. Ørjan Jensen/superpop

Tourism is one of the worlds fastest growing industries. It creates jobs and local development, especially in rural areas. It is gratifying for the industry that the tourists are flowing into Norway, like never before, but the traffic has its cons. Our nature and cultural values are increasingly sought for by the global market, while at the same time they are exclusive by their shortage. This puts pressure on the quality and value of the experience, especially the tourism -icons are vulnerable to over-tourism.

People pollution like littering and excrements by the popular footpaths, cruise ships polluting the air and releasing sewage directly into the fjords, increased traffic and air pollution by airplanes and cars, large crowds stepping down our vulnerable nature and blocking the view. Is this what you signed up for?

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People pollution, Photo: Lill Wenche Øyen

A solution

It is unacceptable that the tourism industry causes pollution, littering and destruction of the destinations that attracts the tourists in the first place. In these times of growth the industry must create new destinations and prolong the season in both ends. Flåm, Geiranger, Lofoten and Trolltunga are about to be completely overrun in the short summer season. The locals knows that there are other fjords or viewpoints that are just as spectacular as these famous ones. The problem is that very few tourists have ever heard of them. 

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Peace and quiet in the Norwegian nature. Photo: drytec.no by Fredrik Karlstad

So when you plan your trip to Norway. Send an email to the local suppliers, such as NorwayInsight, and ask for spectacular places with less traffic. There are plenty of Norway to go around! And if you do want to see the famous destinations, why not do it in the winter, fall or spring?

 

Written by: Marianne Thon Sørensen (marianne@bergenbasecamp.no) 25.10.2017

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