The mountainous Norway is bordered in the north by the Arctic Ocean and lies at approximately the same latitude as Alaska, and is thus subjected to an oceanic polar climate. About one-third of its lands lie beyond the 66th Parallel, including its northern extremity, Jan Mayen Island and the Svalbard Archipelago.
Officially annexed to the Norwegian territory in 1929, Jan Mayen Island was discovered more than 400 years ago by Dutch whalers. Measuring only 377 km2, it is in fact a volcano that emerged from the Arctic Ocean several thousand years ago. Virtually uninhabited, it is used as a meteorological base for Norway, which has possessed installations there since 1921.
The Svalbard Archipelago, on the other hand, is a region of complex politics. Although under the administration of Norway since 1920, its islands can be freely inhabited and occupied by other nations.
With its 61,022 km2, the Archipelago is covered in the vast majority by ice, and ranks among the most northerly lands of the planet. Barely 3,000 souls live here, mainly on coal mining, fishing and scientific research.
The Norwegian tourism industry constituted more than 5% of total output in mainland Norway what meant the significant impact on the country´s economy.
Small decrease in visitors coming to Svalbard was observed over the last year, however the mainland Norway noticed the definite increase in turnover in hotels and restaurants as measured by structural statistics.
Total of 48 million passengers were carried to and from Norwegian airports in 2011. This is 4.3 million more passengers than in 2010; an increment of 9.7 per cent. Four biggest airports are located in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, mostly used as port of entries for foreign visitors. The location of international airports and highly developed road infrastructure makes Norway easily accessible for foreign comers.
Source: Statistics Norway