Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Adventure Champions are the vanguards of the adventure travel industry, having been members of ATTA and leaders in the community for a minimum of 15 years. They are true believers in the power of adventure travel and have made an impact on the direction of ATTA and on the industry as a whole. To honor their commitment to their ethos and lasting contribution to the adventure travel industry, we are spotlighting Adventure Champions through a series of interviews.
Fjord Norway (Fjord Norge AS)
Regional Destination Management Organization (DMO)
ATTA Member since 2007
Introducing Britt Dalland, Director of Marketing and Business Development
Tell us about Fjord Norway:
Fjord Norway is the regional tourist board for the region on the west coast of Norway. We work closely with the 12 destinations in our region, and our main focus is on international sales, marketing, and PR work for the region. Our main office is in Bergen - with seven dedicated people working for the region.
The Fjord Norway region is beautifully located on the coast, with the fjords stretching into the land, steep mountains, and small villages and farms along the fjords. There are charming coastal cities - with a great cultural offering, and they provide international airports with good connections to Europe and overseas. The climate is mild with defined seasons, which makes every season a new experience for visitors. The seasons are important for us, and we live in harmony with the seasons - where the cuisine, traditions, and activities are adapted to the different seasons.
The Fjord Norway region is an absolute playground for the active traveller, with great nature and terrain for hiking, kayaking, skiing, climbing, rafting, and all other activities. You can experience local culture, heritage, and rich history dating back to when the Vikings set sail from these shores.
Nature is unique; the fjord landscape, the coast, mountains, and the glaciers - it is an experience you do not get in many other places. And nature is accessible - since we live in this fjord landscape and you can travel by boat, bus, train or with your own car. Sustainability is important for our region, and we work together with our destinations and partners to offer sustainable offers and alternatives for travellers.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
We see ATTA as an important partner for knowledge and inspiration. ATTA gives access to the international adventure community and you have great platforms and events for networking and knowledge. Our organisation and region have been working to develop adventure travel in our region over the last 15 years, and sustainable travel has become more important for us over the last years.
How has your destination changed over the last 15 years?
We have, over these 15 years, developed from being a "come and see" destination to becoming a "come and be active and experience" destination. Adventure travel has become more important, and we have over these years got many new adventure companies, with skilled guides and great knowledge of our region and nature, and they can prove exciting and safe experiences for our guests.
Our region had also developed an even greater pride in our local food and local culture, which our guests and the local communities can enjoy.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
In our region, you come to places where people live close to nature and close to the attractions. We are therefore concerned that those who visit us contribute to creating local communities that are good to live in. We want to make our destination a good place to visit and a good place to live.
We want the tourism development to be good for all those living in our region, and we want our tourists to feel welcome when they come here - and feel that they have authentic experiences in stunning nature and in our cities.
We believe strongly in a sustainable focus in our work. Fjord Norway offers untouched nature and authentic experiences. For us, it is, of course, necessary to take care of the climate, the environment, nature, and biological and cultural diversity.
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. The tourism industry is working to ensure that Western Norway is the region that has come the furthest in Europe when it comes to green mobility. Should cite examples; electric buses and ferries, electric fast boats (Medstraum in Stavanger) and electric sightseeing boats (Rygerelektra, Future of the Fjords), well-developed charging structure for electric cars.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
We are all facing the huge challenges of climate change, and I believe that the adventure travel leaders are really showing the way in taking these challenges seriously.
We do not really want to stop travelling, since travelling creates knowledge of other cultures and it expands our understanding of the world around us. However, we need to be more cautious travellers and we must help our travellers/visitors make sustainable choices when they can. If we make it easier for people to travel with less carbon footprint - we can make a difference.
What gets you excited about the future of adventure travel?
I think that the adventure traveller could be the example of the future of travel. To make the travel industry sustainable, we need to look at both the social aspect, preservation of nature, and the climate and profit for the travel companies. We cannot just focus on one of these aspects - we need to develop travel to be sustainable on all these levels. A company need also to be profitable to make sustainable investments - and make green choices.
Maybe adventure travel can lead the way here.