Skift Take

Online travel agencies report spikes in bookings for activities in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Some places see a near doubling over last year. Are travelers seeking cooler climes as extreme heat increasingly plagues southern Europe?

Scandinavia is experiencing a surge in tour and activity bookings for the summer, according to a few online travel agencies. Norway is especially topping travelers’ wish lists.

Data from GetYourGuide, Tripadvisor’s Viator, and TourRadar all point to a significant increase in bookings compared to last year.

Travel experiences in these countries lean toward outdoor activities like arctic tours and fjord cruises. So the spike may be connected to rising temperatures in more historically popular destinations like Italy, Spain, and Greece, which are increasingly experiencing intense heat waves and wildfires during summer months.

Bookings are skyrocketing

GetYourGuide reveals a dramatic rise, with one Norwegian village seeing about 50% more bookings than last year. A town in Denmark, which is the birthplace of Lego and Legoland, saw a 200% rise this year compared to 2023.

Viator highlights Norway as the fastest-growing country in its portfolio. Demand exceeded pre-pandemic levels by more than five times.

TourRadar reports an 8% uptick in tours in Norway.

Denmark and Sweden are also outpacing average growth rates, contributing to an overall boost in Scandinavian tourism. 

Climate change pushing travelers north

A study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in April found that the number of days with reasonably cool temperatures for outdoor activities will be significantly lower by 2100. The study found that higher temperatures are already impacting travel patterns around the world.

“There is a shift to people spending time in northern European states,” said the MIT report’s lead author, Elfatih Eltahir. “They go to Sweden and places like that instead of the Mediterranean, which is showing a significant drop.”

Tour group organizers also see bookings in Southern Europe shift to typically cooler months like September.

“The real trend we are finding is that people are booking organized adventures in off-peak times, which shows that these trips are a very sustainable way to travel,” said Aizaz Sheikh, head of community and category design at TourRadar. “For example, we saw more passengers to Italy in September last year than in August, which is generally unheard of.”

Growth since January

The growth in the Nordics is not isolated to the summer, however. Scandinavian countries are benefiting from the higher temperatures during ski season in the Alps, which is driving tourists north, according to a report by the European Tourism Commission published this month.

The report found an 18% increase in Norway’s overnight stays, a 12% increase in Sweden, and a 9% increase in Denmark since the start of 2024.

Short-term rental supply also increased, with a 37% rise in Norway, a 32% rise in Sweden, and a 24% rise in Finland.

Cruise and Tours Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of cruise and tours sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including both cruise lines and tour operators.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more cruise and tours sector financial performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.


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Tags: climate change, denmark, getyourguide, norway, scandinavia, sweden, tourradar, Travel Experiences, viator

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