Winter People: Constraining and Motivating Factors for Attracting Winter Tourists to Northern Norway

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: 423
Oral Presentation
Bente HEIMTUN , Department of Tourism and Northern Studies, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway
Based on 116 qualitative interviews with domestic and international tourists visiting Oslo, Norway in the summer of 2013, this paper explores constraints and motivators regarding winter holidays in Northern Norway. Preliminary findings suggest that not all tourists are winter people. Perceptions of coldness and darkness, however, are positive and negative. Some tourists are excited about experiencing an arctic winter climate; in particular those interested in winter activities such as skiing and northern lights hunts. These tourists emphasise the pureness and freshness of the winter climate as well as a fascination for winter lights during the day and night. Other tourists dislike being cold on holiday and would only travel to warmer climates. Some of these tourists live in winter destinations and know how to deal with a cold climate. Others do not. In particular disinterest in winter activities, lack of appropriate clothing and old age are constraining factors. This suggests that winter tourism is for special interest tourists.