Over half of the questions the National Tourist Routes in Norway responded to from abroad last year were about the new Gaularfjell attraction.
Trine Kanter Zerwekh of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration can verify this. She works with the 18 National Tourist Routes throughout Norway and says that none of the other attractions drew anywhere near the same attention from abroad as Utsikten did in 2016.
National Tourist Routes are roads in Norway that have received an official status. Here, additional investment has been made to establish and adapt the infrastructure to the tourist industry and travelers along these roads.
“2012 was the great opening year for the National Tourist Routes, when all the stretches of roads were awarded a tourist status and were signed with the tourist route symbol. There was record discussion that year in the media; about NOK 64.1 million worth. 2016 landed a solid second place in discussion value (NOK 61.4 million). In addition, some 43 of the total of 83 questions from abroad were about Gaularfjell. That shows a record interest for Utsikten,” says Kanter Zerwekh.
“Such questions are about everything possible. Often people want information about the new facility, the architects and artists, openings, history, prices and pictures for illustration,” Kanter Zerwekh continues.
Perhaps it is not so difficult to understand why people are so enthusiastic about the new vantage point that opened in June 2016.
“I believe the special architecture and its location in the landscape is what draws people here, in addition to the fact that the view is spectacular. The architectural expression is special and the facility’s placement in nature is adapted to the location,” notes Kanter Zerwekh.
Sandra Søreide, head receptionist at Kviknes Hotel, will confirm this. The enormous concrete facility is built out over the side of the mountain, with some of it floating 18 meters out from the side of the mountain with no support under it. Looking over the edge, there is a view 700 meters straight down into the valley with beautiful mountains and hairpin turns right below.
“This gives tourists a wonderful experience. Our guests like the special form and beautiful design of the facility. That makes an incredible view even more special,” says Søreide.
Read more about Utsikten and the architecture here: http://www.kviknes.no/aktuelt-oppsummert/nye-utsikten-paa-gaularfjellet
Enormous increase in traffic
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has counted the number of vehicles that pass Utsikten on Gaularfjell. In 2012, the counter registered just under 290 vehicles a day in July. In 2016, over 480 vehicles a day were registered. That is an enormous increase in just four years’ time.
“Tourist establishments in the area talk about an era before and then after the opening of Utsikten. They have noticed an effect of up to a tripling in their turnovers. That represents an enormous interest. In 2016, Utsikten was of newsworthy interest, but it is first now in 2017 that the attraction is being properly promoted in various brochures and marketing material,” says Kanter Zerwekh.
Belief in increasing growth
The entire tourist industry rejoices in this. In Balestrand, Kviknes Hotel has also noticed the enormous popularity of Gaularfjell. They tell of many tourist groups that reroute their trips via Gaularfjell to include Utsikten. In addition, there are many overnight guests at the hotel who ask for transport to see it.
“It has been such that three or four times a week we have ordered taxis for the trip, and that is a lot. We really have got an attraction in these parts that many groups of travelers are interested in; both those who are used to trips and those less so can enjoy the fantastic view of the mountains and fjord,” says the head of reception.
Order a trip at Kviknes Hotel
This year as last, bus trips will be arranged from Holmen in Balestrand up to Utsikten every Tuesday and Thursday – departure at 14:00.
“We believe the bus trip will be just as popular this year as it was last year, especially since orders are already coming in. We know that Utsikten has been especially popular in Asia, Spain and Brazil, so we are expecting the tourists,” says Søreide.
Would you like help with transport from Balestrand to Utsikten? Contact us here at Kviknes Hotel (link).