Indian tourist numbers to Norway continue to grow steadily as India now reaches the third spot after China and Russia in visitor visas.
This is a welcoming growth as we continue making efforts to promote Norway as an attractive destination for Indians.
With a 16 percent increase so far since 2016, Indian tourist numbers are consistently increasing in Norway.
In the first half of 2017 (Jan-June), more than 11,000 visas were issued to Indian citizens by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in India.
In comparison, the data from 10 years ago shows only 3500 visas in 2007. The number grew to roughly 4000 by 2010 and 6000 by 2014, now reaching up to more than 11,000 in just the first six months of 2017. We hope the figures to be higher by the end of this year.
These figures are also reflective of a global trend. A total of 98,554 visitor visas have been issued globally by Norway from Jan-June 2017, showing a clear upward growth in the numbers since 2007, when 109,700 visas were issued for the whole year.
Norway, a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, is a part of the Schengen visas system. A country well known for its natural, untouched beauty, fjords and clean water, has eight attractions listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Norway also have some of the best architectural attractions in the world, from the 12thcentury built Stave Church, to the new-age Oslo Opera House. Norway's strength lies also in its people, who rank highly on global happiness index, trust levels and among the least corrupt in the world.
The efforts to promote Norway as an attractive destination for Indians have been actively pursued in recent years. Since 2015, the Embassy has helped five Indian films shootings in Norway, in an effort to use Indian cinema as an entry point to potential Indian tourists to Norway. We are also seeing a clear upswing in Indian film companies showing increasing interest in the breathtaking, picturesque locations of Norway.
In addition, the Scandinavia Tourism Board also continues to make its efforts in India. Business relations between the two countries are also growing rapidly, leading to more exchanges and visits. With all such contributions, Norway is pleased to welcome more and more Indian tourists to its shores.