A new survey shows that foreigners flying to Norway with Norwegian, SAS and Widerøe are boosting the economy in a big way.
Foreigners flying to Norway with Norwegian, SAS and Widerøe are helping to boost businesses’ revenues by NOK 20.1 billion (€2.1 billion) a year.
This estimate is reflected in a recent survey conducted by Menon Economics in connection with a national debate that the country’s civil aviation authority NHO has organised this week, the online business newspaper E24 reports.
The nationwide debate centres on the importance of air transport for business, both for export companies and for tourism.
“The importance of foreign tourism for Norway and Norwegians is enormous and it is even larger than we have shown in the report,” Sveinung Fjose of Menon Economics, an independent analysis agency, tells E24.
“We have only counted tourists coming with SAS, Norwegian and Widerøe. If you deal with those also flying to Norway with foreign airlines, there is reason to believe that the effect is twice as high,” he adds.
In that case, foreign arrivals by plane bring NOK 40 billion a year to Norway. This inevitably creates significant employment benefits all over the country, according to Menon.
“The relative effect is actually strongest in northern Norway. It is more important for tourism there than in other regions as it represents a larger part of the total business sector,” Fjose says.
Norwegian, SAS and Widerøe transported 2.15 million passengers from other countries to Norway last year, and they spend on accommodation and many other services. According to Menon, they lay the foundation for 26,000 jobs in Norway with a value creation of NOK 15.7 billion.
There has been significant growth in foreign tourism to Norway in recent years, and now the growth is especially being seen from the US and Asia.
The weak krona making holidays in Norway more affordable is one of the reasons for this boom, according to Kristian Jørgensen of Fjord Norway, which works to promote travel experiences in western Norway.
“Voyages to the fjords and western Norway have increased sharply, based on good marketing. The industry has become more professional and we have had a fantastic development of direct flights by plane into the region. In addition, the krona has weakened,” Jørgensen tells E24.