In 2009, hotels in the Hardanger region in Norway were struggling and on the verge of bankruptcy. Something drastic needed to be done, so Hardanger decided to change their marketing focus from fruit trees to something unique and extraordinary.
They decided to draw attention to the region in a new way that would make people stop and go wow. That is why they chose to feature the spectacular Trolltunga in their marketing strategy.
Hardanger distributed tens of millions of photos of Trolltunga on front pages of magazines, in top stories in newspapers, at press events and by flooding their social media too. Fjord Norway and Innovation Norway also started using it as one of the main icons to promote the west coast of Norway and Norway in general.
They never thought that the long and exhausting hike that drew in around 500 visitors annually could ever become one of the main tourist attractions in Norway.
In 2012, TripAdvisor featured Trolltunga one of the most spectacular places on earth. Thus began the start of a massive boom in Trolltunga where it went from 10,000 visitors in 2012 to 20,000 visitors in 2013.
After this Trolltunga experienced an exponential growth in the number of visitors because of social media, especially Instagram. Visitors started posting photos from their hike to Trolltunga and the number of visitors grew to 40,000 in 2014.
In 2016, the iconic rock is expected to have about 100,000 visitors.
Tour operators from across the world can experience sudden growth through social media booms like the one in Trolltunga. When this happens, you want to make sure your tour or activity company adapts to this trend quickly.
The sooner you react to a sudden increase in arrivals, the more advantages you have over competitors. If you wait too long, you’ll suddenly find yourself drowning in a pool of competitors.
- Why and how Trolltunga went viral on social media and had an increase of 10,000 to 70,000 annual visitors in just 4 years
- How the hype was initiated by strong collaboration as a tourism destination
- What tour and activity operators across the world can learn about travel trends, PR, video marketing, and in-destination collaboration from Trollunga
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.