MADRID (September 23, 2008) – UNWTO is pleased to welcome the Kingdom of Norway as its 154th Member State, representing the 45th Member State within UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe.
The Membership in UNWTO is part of Norway’s national strategy for the tourism industry, which highlights the importance of the further development of the sector as a vehicle for economic growth, in addition to traditional industries such as fishing, agriculture or oil.
Norway’s tourism strategy aims at increasing the revenues from the tourism sector, supporting rural communities through year-round jobs in tourism and establishing Norway as a sustainable destination, in line with one of UNWTO’s major objectives.
From 2000-2006, international tourism arrivals to Norway registered an average
growth of 4.1% per year, reaching for the first time almost 4 million international tourists in 2006.
In 1947, Norway was one of the 19 founding members of the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO), the organization which preceded the modern UNWTO. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway officially submitted its application for full membership of UNWTO on September 8, 2008. In accordance with the UNWTO Statutes, this membership enters into immediate effect.