Norway's most important tourist destinations can be found in the varied Norwegian nature.
Here are some examples:
- UNESCO, the UN organisation for education, science, culture and communication, has granted the mining town Røros, the Vega archipelago, Geirangerfjorden and Nærøyfjorden the status as world heritage sites.
- In 2004, National Geographic Traveller voted Norwegian fjord landscapes as the best tourist destination in the world.
- In 2006, the same publication awarded the fjords the accolade as the best managed world heritage site.
- The Observer, a UK newspaper, has ranked the Lofoten archipelago amongst the world's 20 best paradise islands.
- In 2006, Lonely Planet ranked the Norwegian Coastal Express as the most beautiful sea voyage in the world.
- The UK newspaper, The Guardian declared the road "Atlanterhavsvegen" as providing the best scenic car journey on the planet.
These sites have at least one thing in common. Their distinctiveness can be traced back to unique geological stories involving lost oceans, moving continents, volcanoes and glaciers. Mining has also provided the backbone of many local communities, and the mining heritage has generated intriguing tourist destinations throughout the country.
Customized information on nature, cultural heritage and the history of how the landscape was created can be included in many products for adventure-seeking tourists. Such information can be presented in publications, exhibitions or trips, where geology is a regular part of the experience together with biodiversity, cultural heritage, resources and environment.
Such products will develop and improve the Norwegian landscape as a tourist destination. In addition to major initiatives in the world heritage areas and the geoparks, work is under way in many parts of our long and narrow country to develop national tourist routes with visitor centres, trails and nature guides. Information and knowledge of the landscape will form pivotal elements of this initiative. These products will enhance the experience and give added value for tourists, resulting in more time and money being spent at the destination.
What does NGU do?
NGU has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to improving the tourism product Norway. We will do this by documenting and explaining geological natural features in the landscape that the tourists visit.
Our initiatives will take place in collaboration with visitor centres, in the form of publications, maps, multimedia presentations and activities. Guiding in selected areas is another form of initiative. Mines and geoparks open to visitors can further raise the profile of particularly valuable destinations. In recent years, NGU has among other things:
- Prepared background geological information for four geopark projects, and for three applications for world heritage status for natural areas.
- Prepared background information and quality-assured documentation for exhibitions for mining museums and visitor mines.
- Collaborated with seven nature park centres in different ways, from participating in management and investigation work, to preparing plans, maps, exhibitions, excursion suggestions and publications.
- Trained guides in the county of Nordland in different aspects of geology.
- Prepared maps of geological cultural monuments in the Roltdalen-Skarvan National Park and contributed to the millstone park in Hyllestad.
- Prepared information concerning geology and nature along national tourist routes in Rondane and in Nordland in collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Published: 21. January 2008