Disney’s ‘Frozen’ fires up Norway’s tourism

Jessica Morris, special to
Frozen boosts Norway's tourism sector
Frozen boosts Norway's tourism sector

Disney's latest animated blockbuster, "Frozen" is firing up Norway's tourism sector, as U.S. fans flock to experience the country's scenic delights.

The movie, which is set in the imaginary Kingdom of Arendelle, is loosely modelled on Norway's rugged coastline. Scandinavian mythology also runs through film, which features trolls, runes and staves churches.

Following the premier of Disney's Frozen earlier this year, travel to Norway from the US jumped 37 percent between January and March compared to that time last year, according to Innovation Norway.

Meanwhile, the number of people searching for flights to Norway soared by 154 percent, according to Flight Tracker. And Norwegian Air Shuttle reported a 52 percent increase on routes from the U.S. to Olso in March 2014, compared to March 2013.

"The movie has shown Norway as a spectacular destination," Per-Arne Tuftin, executive vice president at Innovation Norway told CNBC's Worldwide Exchange.

It's not Just Norway that has benefited from "Frozen". In March, it became the biggest grossing animated movie of all time, taking $1.7 billion at the box office, according to Walt Disney Studios.

The landmarks that inspired the film's breath-taking imagery, such as Akershus castle, Bergen and Thronheim, are scattered across the country, Tuftin said.

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Nonetheless, enthused "Frozen" fans won't be able to travel on a budget: package tours typically cost around $5,000, according to Tuftin.

Actress Kristen Bell attending the premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios' 'Frozen'.
Frazer Harrison | Getty Images

Thrill-seekers and explorers typically visit Norway for its winter sports, outdoor adventures and magnificent scenery. But this could now be broadened to including younger Americans, as well as families, Tuftin said.

Travel and tourism contributed 6.2 percent of Norway's gross domestic product in 2012, and is expected to rise by 2.7 percent to 28.9 billion euros in 2013, according to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development.

And Tuftin thinks "Frozen" could continue to warm the country's tourisms sector in the future. "It's sustainable. America has been a very important market for us since the beginning of 1930," he said.

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