MEDUSA: Most Norwegians travel abroad at least once a year


Within the framework of the MEDUSA project study on adventure tourism development, the researchers lead a research and study of market demand, supply and competitiveness, analysing multiple fields from a socio-economic, political, and environmental perspective in the following countries: France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Each country presents some highlights for MEDUSA Projects, which will be analysed during these publications.


Norway stands out among the three Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) for having the oldest population and one of the highest PIB per capita in the world, which allows Norwegians to frequently travel.

Inbound and domestic tourism dominates the tourism sector in the country; in 2016, Norwegians made up 71% of all commercial overnight stays.

State-owned companies, such as Innovation Norway, tend to encourage domestic tourism to enlarge the tourism sector and develop value creation, projecting the country internationally for tourists coming from all over the world. In turn, regional and local authorities participate in such initiatives to provide a tailored tourism experience and detailed data management for each region.

Norway provides a wide range of flights (international and domestic). The 48 airports spread around the country allows tourists to reach their destination faster, while also giving them the ability to choose between a range of different companies and price ranges, starting from low-cost flights to expensive first-class experiences.

According to Statistics Norway, in 2019, Norwegians made a total of 10,5 million trips. Norwegian tourists are the biggest spenders among Scandinavian countries, and 58% travel abroad, at least once a year.

Norwegians tend to choose southern Europe as a destination due to many factors, such as low prices, closeness, and weather, especially during polar nights in the winter. Many people leave the country for a couple of months, seeking sun, the beach and different water/mountain activities that are hardly practiced in Norway.

According to statistics, 63% of Norwegians like to spend time in the outdoors and nature. Walking, cycling, running, and skiing are the most practiced activities by Norwegians. 80% of Norwegians do walking and around 40% cycling.

Norwegian tourist spending on foreign travel, in 2017, was 12.61 billion euros (+ 11.1% increase over the previous year). For leisure travel, this expense was 11.26 billion euros.

Spain, being a MEDUSA destination, comes in second after Denmark among the countries chosen by Norwegian seeking holidays, and Italy occupies the 9th position in the ranking. Regarding Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia, it is worth mentioning that the flow of Norwegian tourist is slightly increasing, due to many political, infrastructure and safety reasons.

40% of Norwegian travelers from 45 to 64 years old look to spend time outdoors in nature during their holidays, since they travel with family and friends at this age. Norwegian people tend to increase their budget in order to receive a luxurious service similar to the one they receive in their country or other Scandinavian countries.

Sustainable destination in Norway is a new concept in Nordic travelling. A modern idea, it entices youngsters (less than 25 years old) to discover the wilderness and the hard activities such as alpine skiing and mountain snowboarding, this concept attracts youngsters sharing the same interests. Unlike the single nature explorer who are usually middle-aged and prefer activities such as taking long walks in nature.