Norwegian Fjords Ecotourism

According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), sustainable tourism should:

  • Preserve nature, culture and the environment
  • Strengthen social prosperity
  • Be economically viable

Norway was chosen as 1 of 4 pilot destinations by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for “Early adopters of the GSTC criteria for destinations.” This was a minimum criteria needed to be considered socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable. As a pilot, the fjords will be used to test out the criteria’s suitability for more general use.

Some measures by Norwegian tourism companies:

  • Using public transport for their tours.
  • One business, Fjord Tours was certified as an eco-business in 2010, and was designed for independent travelers.
  • Using public buses and hotels run by independent local businesses.

Attractions to the Fjords

  • River-rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • River boarding
  • Caving
  • Dog sledding
  • Snowshoe hikes or normal hikes
  • Abseiling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Climbing
  • Tours through the fjords
  • Remote location
  • Strict environmental regulations
  • Birdwatching
  • Natural attractions; mountains, waterfalls, clear waters, a variety of wildlife, includng eagles, seals, porpoises and seabirds, small fishing villages and local culture, UNESCO sites

The fjords are also used to generate hydroelectric power by the use of dams, for agriculture and rural development. The fjords were used for wartime resistance.

The Voningfossen waterfall gets 655,000 visitors annually as of 2005. Floibanen railways gets 1,131,707 visitors annually as of 2007.


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