New tourist app

Balancing the books is tought for many Norwegian towns

some wants to start charging tax to tourists who come to visit

But the government has said no.

So, some towns in Lofoten have launched a new travel app for tourists.

The app gives information about the local areas,

and offers a chance to pay a little bit for a taste of nature.

This used to be just a small path over the mountain to Kvalvika on Lofoten.

But thanks to record numbers of tourists,

it doesn’t look quite so good these days.

You can see it on aerial footage.

Is this what untouched Lofoten nature should look like?

Flakstad municipality, who own the land,

don’t have enough money to maintain it.

In 2016, six municipalities in Lofoten asked the then Industry minister,

Monica Mæland, to introduce a tourist tax.

But this was rejected in favour of Norway’s strong right to roam laws.

What gets to us most is when the government says «we don’t care about your problems”.

So we have to prove that we can solve it.

We’ll manage this by ourselves.

In an effort to generate income for maintenance, Lofoten has launched a new app for tourists.

Visitors can get local information,

and are invited to pay for their experiences in nature.

We think this technology is world class. Norway can be an example for others around the world.

We can show how this kind of thing can be done.

This new Norwegian app is so innovative that even Google are following the project.

If it is well marketed, this app could provide major benefits for both tourists and local businesses.

But whether tourists visiting Lofoten this year are willing to pay, remains to be seen.