For many, Christmas means snow, Christmas trees and ribs. But many are traveling abroad this Christmas. Thailand and the Canary Islands are at the top of Norwegians’ favorite destinations.
According to figures from Virke, 33 percent of Norwegians plan to take a Christmas holiday this year. Of these, 16 percent state that they will spend Christmas abroad – many of them in warmer regions.
– “The desire to travel is as great as before, while more and more of us are concerned about our travel being as green and responsible as possible. Christmas falls in the calendar in a way this year that it is easier to take a longer trip. If you take a few extra days off, you can get two weeks vacation,” says Astrid Bergmål, head of Virke Travel, to NTB.
For Norwegians who want to trade snow with sand, it is Thailand and the Canary Islands that are the clear holiday favorites. Destinations that are just behind are Sweden, Vietnam and the UK.
Family trip abroad
According to tour operator Ving, their Christmas numbers are stable, and they state that they have about as many travelers during this year’s Christmas holidays as in previous years.
– “There is an overwhelming number of people over 50 who travel at Christmas, but we also see that there are more children too, so the likelihood that many large families are traveling together for Christmas is great. I think the main reason that many people travel is that they have days they can take off and they want to spend it by taking a little holiday and at the same time be with friends and family,” says information manager Siri Røhr-Staff in Ving to NTB.
Røhr-Staff believes that those who travel abroad during Christmas have a tradition of returning to the same places every year. Many of their travelers spend the Christmas holidays to Mauritius and the Maldives.
Thailand tops for the weather
Almost half of those traveling with tour operator Apollo this Christmas will be traveling to Gran Canaria, according to information officer Beatriz Rivera.
– “With us, for example, Thailand is up 48 percent compared to last year, while Krabi in Thailand in isolation has an increase of as much as 65 percent. We already saw this increase in trends last year, but this year it has soared. Thailand is definitely popular, and that’s not surprising,” Rivera tells NTB.
Rivera also highlights Tenerife, the Emirates and Lanzarote as clear Christmas favorites among their travelers.
30 percent say to Virke that they plan to go to family and friends at Christmas, and 93 percent say they believe family is the most important thing in Christmas.
– Regardless of where you choose to celebrate Christmas, quality time with our loved ones is important to us during the Christmas holidays, Bergmål emphasizes.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today