Tour operators have made tours to Norway more accessible
The growing demand for tours to Norway has become an opportunity for tour operators to expand the range of package tours, including affordable offers. Sales of group tours are growing, interest to Norway has intensified.
According to the Central Statistical Bureau, in 2018 the tourist flow from Russia to Norway increased by 8%, the number of overnight stays exceeded 133 thousand. Olga Filippenko, the Director of tourism development department of the Norwegian Tourism Board, notes that the dynamics of Russian tourist traffic in the number of overnight stays are several times higher than from other source markets.
According to Ms. Filippenko, the main point of attraction for the Russians is the fjord region. Sea fishing is also popular in the north of the country, but at the same time the demand for fishing is gradually increasing in Central Norway, in Trøndelag. More and more Russians are going to Oslo for excursion purposes.
In 2019, Norway will increase marketing on the Russian market in the business and event tourism segments. “We continue active cooperation with tour operators working or interested in working in the Norwegian destination. At the end of August, the traditional workshops for representatives of the tourism industry will be held in St. Petersburg and Moscow. We are also actively working with the press and pay great attention to our presence in social networks,” said Olga Filippenko.
In her opinion, Norway can count on an increase in the number of Russian tourists if the Russian market is in economic stability. “The growth trend of the Russian tourist traffic to Norway has been observed over the past years, which makes it possible to give a positive forecast for 2019. We hope that growth will be 10-15% this year,” she says.
The positive forecasts of the tourist office of Norway at the start of the season-2019 are confirmed by tour operators. According to them, the demand for the destination has already grown from 10 up to 15%. The relative stability of Euro and direct low-cost flights to Scandinavia are the factors encouraging the growth.
Tour operators themselves are promoting an increasing of demand. According to the press service of Intourist tour operator, demand is steadily growing due to a wider range of tours to Norway. Specialists of the Russian Express tour operator are talking about a similar trend: they note the growing demand for non-standard programs. For example, the combination of excursion routes with fishing or cruises along the fjords.
In ICS Travel Group reported about 12% increase in sales of tours to Norway, KMP Group said about the depth of sales of the destination until August.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.