News story | Date: 2017-10-12 | Ministry of Climate and Environment
The Government will facilitate the best-known hiking trails for tourists. The Ministry of Climate and Environment proposes spending NOK 10.5 million on this, an increase of 3 million from 2017.
In 2017, the Government and their partners Venstre (The Liberal Party) and KrF (The Christian Democrats) granted NOK 7.5 million to the newly established grant scheme National Hiking Trails. The government proposes to change the name to National Tourist Trails to create a better understanding of the content. At the same time, the grant is increased.
-We want to support local tourism while at the same time avoiding wear and tear of nature. Therefore, we increase the allocation to the National Tourist Trails. This win-win situation provides both sustainable use of nature and local value creation, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.
Behind this lies the fact that there is a big increase in the amount of international tourists who visit our most famous hiking trails and mountain areas. Several of these trails are subjected to considerable wear and tear and unhygienic conditions due to lack of toilets.
There is also greater need for signposting and information, and measures that improve safety. In many places, there is also a need for better parking and simpler access.
By 2018, the scheme will be further developed to become an authorization scheme, in cooperation with Den Norske Turistforening (The Norwegian Trekking Association), the Red Cross and NHO Reiseliv (The Norwegian Hospitality Association). It is then possible to request authorization of selected paths as a National Tourist Trail. In the long term, only authorized paths will receive money from the grant scheme.
-All building and construction measures must be adapted to the landscape and natural values. In addition, we must take care of the public right of access and the more general Norwegian outdoor traditions. This scheme will help everyone towards having a positive nature experience, even if there might be many tourists around, says Helgesen.