Transforming a Norwegian Landscape into an Iconic Tourist Attraction: The Trolltunga Experience
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- Studentoppgaver (SV-NHS) 
Trolltunga; one of Norway’s iconic tourist attractions, has experienced an exponential increase in visitation from only a few, to thousands of visitors. Famous for its viewpoint cliff, reaching the cliff, however, is coupled to a total nine-hour hiking journey. It has been argued a person depicted on the edge of a dangerous cliff confronted with his mortality, is not regarded unique to our time. Such images do seem to generate a rather strong interest to today’s traveler. Trolltunga not only appeals to experienced hikers but also draws in large groups of “first time” and less experienced visitors. Tourist attractions as Trolltunga are of key importance to tourist destinations as they attract high tourist flows. Sustaining positive experiences at such sites and developing a better understanding of the tourist experience is imperative for destinations. This study has aimed to develop a better understanding by means of exploring the tourist experience at Trolltunga. From a dynamic perspective, the visual experience by means of sightseeing and the physical experience of hiking have been analyzed. This paper presents unique insights of 139 tourists’ experiences and viewpoints. On-site data sources include in-person interviews, observations, and photographic collections. Results have shown hiking was mainly experienced negative in terms of challenging and too long with feelings of fear and frustration. Sightseeing however, was experienced as sublime. This paper argues it is not the physical, but the visual as the central and positive aspect of the experience, and main driver of visitation. Results of this study agree with previous works in the literature, arguing for the “centrality of the visual” in tourism. This paper provides practical managerial implications based on study results and discussions.
Master's thesis in International Hospitality Management