It’s the most wonderful time of the year… as Stavanger region reflects on a great tourist season 2023.

Preikestolen and the Lysefjord are the natural reason to go for many travelers to Norway

As the year is coming to an end of another remarkable tourist season, the Stavanger region proudly celebrates a year of growth and success. With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and commitment to sustainable practices, the Stavanger region has strengthened its position as a travel destination, perfect for both small and medium-sized groups and travelers from all corners of the globe.

For many international markets the Stavanger region is a hidden gem, and visitors are often surprised in their first meeting with the region. “We see the importance of getting tour operators and agents to our region so they may see firsthand what their clients may experience when they come.”

Region Stavanger experiences that site-inspections and fam-trip (read familiarization-trip) are crucial in spreading the word about this region out to the global market. “ Last year we organized a FAM-trip in the southern part of the region, and we’ve had several groups and operators now asking for the exact same program. The group sizes ranges from 40 pax to 300 pax”, confirms Anette Larsen Bognø, Director of the B2B-segments. She continues “In general, international clients has little knowledge about Norway and our region, and our presence on international meeting places such as Vakantiebeurs and ITB to tell them about the highlights from our region are important” .   

Last year we organized a FAM-trip in the southern part of the region, and we’ve had several groups and operators now asking for the exact same program as a direct result of that visit. Increasing the knowledge about Norway and the Stavanger region is crucial.
Director B2B, Anette Larsen Bognø

The 2023 tourist season saw a rise in group numbers, demonstrating the region’s appeal to travelers worldwide, with its spectacular nature and short distances between attractions. The Stavanger region has a lot to offer leisure groups, and the visitors can embark on thrilling guided hikes to Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock), surf the Jæren beaces and explore the fjords. Culture enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the region’s rich history and traditions with several museums and historical districts and monuments with competent local guides. Foodies can enjoy the region’s culinary treats, ranging from fresh seafood and traditional Norwegian dishes to international street food district and fine dining at Michelin star restaurants.

The Norwegian Petroleum Museum has also experienced the increased interest. “The Norwegian Petroleum Museum was the most visited museum in the region in 2023”, states Siri Vinje from the Norwegian Petroleum Museum.

“Both foreign and Norwegian guests have truly taken notice of our region. Alongside trips to Preikestolen and Lysefjorden, the museum has become a natural stop for visitors of all ages. The exhibitions teach visitors how oil and gas contribute to the climate challenges we face. There is a miniature platform for the youngest visitors, and activities for the whole family. The season has been extended, with an increasing number of visitors in May and September. In July, over 60% of guests were international visitors. The summer season saw a 38% increase in visits from 2019. Now, the Gingerbread City is on display until December, with 445 gingerbread buildings set up in a magical Christmas atmosphere, and we expect a lot of visitors now before we end the season and close for Christmas. With this positive trend, we already look forward to an exciting new year in 2024.”

Rødne Fjordcruise confirms that 2023 has been a hectic and exciting year. ¨We have seen a positive development, and our booking numbers are ahead of the 2019 season, which was our best year so far. It’s satisfying to note that tourists are back, and our guests come from all over the world. Groups are very important to us as they book early and indicate the season for us fairly early, whereas the individual travelers book quite close to departure. We have great expectations for the final 2023 numbers, and hope to see also the winter season numbers up now after Christmas“, says Eva Mellgren from Rødne.

Are you interested in learning more about our region or being part of a FAM-trip, stay tuned for the Golden Ticket fam-trip coming up in 2024!

Pioneering Sustainable Tourism – key focus for the future

The Stavanger region is a pioneer in sustainable tourism, making every effort to minimize its environmental impact while ensuring the preservation of its spectacular scenery and attractions for generations to come. To achieve this goal, green accommodations, eco-friendly transportation options, and community-based tourism projects have been seamlessly integrated into the region’s tourism infrastructure. This ensures that visitors and the environment can coexist harmoniously. Rødne Cruise uses electric ferries, and Fjord Line operates on LNG Gas. Buses, taxis and cars in general have mostly turned electric, and getting to the region by train has never been easier. This commitment to sustainability reflects the Stavanger region’s dedication to taking responsibility for a positive tourism development.

We look forward to welcome more tour groups in years to come and will continue our efforts on being a preferred choice for travelers seeking authentic and sustainable experiences.