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An upswing in tourism can be a good thing for most destinations, but not in Norway, where a recent surge in visitors has led to large crowds, overbooked hotels, long lines at tourist attractions and excessive amounts of traffic. The culprit? The movie Frozen, according to an article by The Telegraph — apparently, tourists really are “letting go” as the popular song lyrics suggest, and booking trips to Norway like never before.
Besides putting a strain on tourism infrastructure, the country’s parks and natural wonders may also suffer due to increasing amounts of visitors — the number of people hiking to scenic Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), for instance, has gone from 60,000 visitors in 2009 to a whopping 300,000 in 2016.
Villages such as Geiranger and Flåm have been hit particularly hard because of their locations within the UNESCO World Heritage fjords — much of the movie Frozen takes place in a magical fjord-filled paradise. This is especially apparent when cruise ships dock with boatloads full of visitors wanting to visit these villages, which are already packed with their own tourists. Geiranger, which has a population of 215, held more than 700,000 during high season last year.
Social media isn’t helping either, as visitors continue to take epic selfies in beautiful places, inspiring more people to head over to Norway and see these spots for themselves.
The solution? For now, tourism board Fjord Norway is trying to ease the rush by spreading out its campaign to include other seasons — since much of the overcrowding happens during the summer, encouraging people to visit in spring, summer and winter is a good way to get some balance. Fjord Norway is also urging tourists to practice sustainable tourism, to slow down and adapt more to the Norwegian style of living with longer stays as opposed to just jumping off a cruise ship and touring for the day.
Will you be visiting Norway anytime soon? Did seeing Frozen make you do it — or was it all those low airfares we’ve been coming across lately? Sound off, below.
Featured image courtesy of Tessa Bunney via Getty.
H/T: The Telegraph
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