After Norway-China relations were normalised, Chinese tourists flocked to Hurtigruten. For several years the company had been barred from marketing
in China. Normally, Hurtig sold holidays for about 50 million a year to the Chinese people.
CEO Daniel Skjeldam said to Dagens Næringsliv newspaper that he believes that figure may increase tenfold.
‘We envision that already by 2018 we will triple the figures, and within five years we should be up at half a billion a year. That’s a conservative estimate.
It may well be much greater’, he said.
Hurtigruten is now taking steps to deal with the increased interest.
Two ships will be customised with new signs in Chinese and Chinese food will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Previously, ad campaigns for trips to Norway halted in China as a result of the bad relations between the two countries after Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Hurtig noticed a significant improvement after Norway, in December, gained better political relations with China.
We have been waiting for a normalisation of relations between Norway and China. We immediately started to promote the Norwegian coast when the good news from China came in.
Now that the collaboration is in place, our possibilities in China increase exponentially’, said Skjeldam.
Chinese companies have already chartered MS Midnight for four cruises in a row in January/February 2018, which means that they rent the entire ship,
with room for 500 guests, for six weeks at a stretch.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today