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The marketing budget of Western Norway’s tourist board has been cut, due to a surge in the number of tourists the area is receiving, the Telegraph has reported. The rise of the hit Disney film Frozen, has seen a wave of tourists flocking to the west, due to the films setting of Arendelle, modelled on the Norway’s western landscapes and fjords.
The film, sees newly crowned Queen Elsa, unintentionally use her secret powers to turn the whole of Arendelle to ice. Her sister, Anna, teams up with new friends Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven, to save the town from an infinite winter.
The success of the film has seen obstacles arise due to the sudden increase in tourists. Some parts of western Norway are currently facing fully-booked hotels, queues at popular locations, and even traffic problems.
Kristian Jorgensen, Fjord Norway’s managing director, said: “I’m quite sure the film Frozen had an effect. It’s the most successful animation film ever made, basically about the fjords. It has got the attention of more families, and we’ve definitely seen growth, especially from the US market, as a result.”
Mr Jorgensen continued: “The numbers have just exploded. A consequence of this is we need to think about how we can bring in more: it’s not a good experience for people if we bring in more on the same days.”
“Before we put all our effort into growing the summer, now we’re putting all our effort into growing the whole year,” he said.
Geiranger, is a small village in western Norway. It has a very small population of just 215 permanent residents, and is visited by around 700,000 tourists each year, according to Tourism Geiranger.
The tourist board is attempting to spur hotels, and harbours where cruise ships dock, to raise their premiums in the summer months, in order to drive tourists into visiting in the quieter periods.
Many film and television companies have been praised for giving tourist levels a boost in other countries, as well as Norway. Highclere Castle has seen an increase of visitors, after it was the setting of Downton Abbey (the ‘Downton effect’). Northern Ireland has also seen a surge, after it was the filming location of hit television series Game of Thrones (the ‘Game of Thrones effect’).
As well as the film, Mr Jorgensen highlighted that online social media platforms have also helped to amplify the appeal of the area, with places including Trolltunga, and Preikestolen, offering tourists opportunities for remarkable pictures, and then later being posted on sites including, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Speaking about the areas which have recently seen their visitor numbers suddenly soar, he said: “These are almost marketing themselves. People are taking selfies like crazy.”