Travel and Tourism - Norway - November 2010
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The Kingdom of Norway is one of the Nordic countries located on the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Norway borders the North Sea and the Barents Sea in the west, Russia, Finland and Sweden in the east and the Skagerrak Strait in the south. The country consists of mountains and forests. Norway has a population of almost 5 million people and a relatively low population density. The discovery of oil and gas off the coast of Norway in the 1970s has made it one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Oil, gas and pipeline services now account for 50% of its exports. The conservative government has realised that their gas and oil revenues will eventually decline and is saving the budget surpluses for the future. Norway is known for its excellent social welfare system and high standard of living.
Norway’s main tourist attraction is its unspoiled natural environment. The country is famous for its impressive coastline with the spectacular fjords, open spaces, fresh air as well as beautiful mountains. The unique history and culture, especially the Viking heritage, is also an important attraction. Much of the tourism activities are based on nature and range from hiking and boating to dog-sledding and ice-fishing. The country’s main tourism destinations are the capital, Oslo, the southern part of the country, the coastline with its fjords and the cities of Bergen and Stavanger. The northern part of Norway in the Arctic Circle is also gaining more interest from visitors. Norway has over 30 active cruise harbours, making Norway a popular cruise destination. There has been a marked increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Norway.
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