Næringslivsseminar – delsesjon og reiseliv/turisme

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Excellences,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

When appointed Minister for Trade and Industry approximately 6 weeks ago, I also became the Minister for Tourism. Tourism is an industry in growth with a large potential for value creation both globally, in Norway and here in Argentina.

 

Argentina and Norway are two very different countries. Both countries however offer spectacular natural surroundings, with long coastlines and mountain ranges. In addition, both countries have a cultural heritage that is attracting international attention. There are beautiful fjords and northern lights in Norway and magnificent waterfalls and tango in Argentina - just to mention something. The landscape of our two countries is likely to give both of us a bite of the global growth in tourism in the years to come.

 

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and an industry for the future. Increased globalisation and a growing middle-class boost the number of travellers. In addition, it provides new opportunities to the Norwegian and the Argentinian tourism industry. Growth in tourism creates economic value, new jobs and contributes to local development, both in central and more rural districts.

 

Already today, the tourism industry accounts for just over 4 % of the value creation and almost 7 % of the employment in the Norwegian economy.  The number of visitors to Norway is record-high, and the activity in the tourism sector is growing. Today's situation is a good starting point for developing our tourism industry further. Projections of strong growth in international tourism suggest that Norway could see a significant rise in the number of foreign visitors also in the coming decade. Few other industries, if any, can point to such potential demand growth.

 

 

The tourism industry faces a number of challenges, however.

An increased number of travellers puts pressure on the natural environment and may affect local communities. This brings up the question of sustainability.

 

Additionally, the industry has long been struggling with issues such as productivity and profitability that may undermine the tourism industry in the long term.   

Responsibility for addressing such challenges lies primarily with the tourism industry itself.

 

As a whole, the Norwegian tourism industry has shown a number of good results in recent years. It has become more cooperative, more productive, and it has created new high-quality products, competitively priced.  Tourism operators and other industry participants have shown many examples of its commitment to providing good solutions. In addition, the industry has shown great efforts in thinking "green".  

 

To unlock the considerable potential of tourism – both in Norway and in Argentina- I believe we must make a joint effort.  Governments at all levels need to work in close partnership with the private sector. That is why getting together here today is so important.

 

I am proud to be the Norwegian Minister for Tourism. As I would have been if I was the Argentinian Minister for Tourism!

Visiting another great tourist nation as Argentina is both exciting and inspiring. I am positive that exchanging experiences and to establish new connections is of great value to both countries.

 

Thank you for your attention.

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