INCREASING ONLINE ACTIVITY DRIVEN BY STRONG DEVELOPMENT
Online travel continued to perform dynamically in 2015, with strong growth in the number of online bookings driven by air travel, lodging and car rental. Norwegians are becoming increasingly used to conducting their day-to-day business online. This has been encouraged by the strong development of the online platforms of almost every major travel-related company. These developments have made payments more secure as well as enable customers to get the best travel deals by quickly and conveniently comparing prices and various offerings. Mobile activity also increased sharply over the review period, with dynamic growth in mobile bookings providing a boost to online sales as a whole.
SHORT-TERM RENTALS A GROWING PRESENCE IN LODGING
Lodging categories in Norway are being hampered by strong growth in short-term rentals. The dramatic international growth experienced by Airbnb in particular over the last two years has encouraged many Norwegians to rent out their properties in an effort to boost their disposable incomes. Many visitors to Norway see these kinds of services as an opportunity to source cheaper accommodation while also enjoying a more genuine cultural experience. This represents a growing challenge to the Norwegian hotel industry, which has already expressed concerns regarding the taxing and regulation of this growing industry.
DEVELOPMENT OF MOBILE APPS ACCELERATES
Mobile phone apps continued to have a major impact on the way that many companies in travel do business. The leading players are making a concerted effort to develop platforms which will provide consumers with access to features such as bookings and key information, as well as other entertainment features, which will encourage them to visit these apps more regularly. With smartphone usage continuing to rise and technology making rapid advances, this is a key area of growth potential for travel in Norway.