Published on : Wednesday, June 12, 2019
As one of the most beautiful places of Norway, the Lofoten Islands attract millions of tourists every year from all around the world. However, now those living on the island chain are thinking about how can they can strike a balance between encouraging tourism and preserving the natural beauty of the place?
The islands are dotted with small fishing villages and surrounded by majestic mountains. The climate year round is temperate compared to the rest of the wintry country and white sand beaches stretch along the coasts. In winter, the islands’ skies are illuminated by the Northern Lights. In short, the islands are a magnet for tourists.
According to official statistics, more than a half a million people visit the Lofoten Islands each year. Figures compiled by local hotels suggest that the figure is even higher, i.e. closer to 1 million a year. Another 300,000 come from cruise ships. That’s definitely a lot for an area whose population is a meager 25,000.
While the tourists bring plenty of money to the local economy, they bring problems too and the local environment is feeling them the most.
According to Kari Marie Antonsen, a senior researcher at the Nordland Institute for Scientific Research, Norwegian municipalities like Lofoten are starting to place higher demands on tour operators that are designed to lighten the load on local environments.