58 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / ISSUE 67Nordic: NorwayNorway's scenic meetings splendourEurope's northern-most country, Norway, sets its scene for meetings looking to make the most of its dramatic landscapeKnown for its nature attractions including the fjords, mountains and midnight sun, Norway offers a healthy destination for meetings.Its main conference spots include Oslo (Norway's capital), Bergen and Stavanger, which offer modern conference facilities bringing delegates closer to nature.Oslo has six conference centres and two major exhibition halls. Norway's largest meeting space, the Norway Convention Centre, can host up to 12,000 participants, it also has a 355-room onsite hotel.The city of Bergen, often referred to as 'The gateway to the Fjords of Norway', is investing heavily in its conference venue offering.Several hotel projects are currently under construction bringing 1,000 bedrooms to the city by 2013, an increase of 25 per cent. Stavanger, which was the European Capital of culture in 2008, has 33 hotels offering 10,000 bedrooms. Its congress and exhibition centre boasts 30 meeting rooms catering for between two and 1,707 people.Oslo is easily reached by air, with over 200 international flights daily and 1,300 international flights a week, Qatar Airways started non-stop flights between Doha and Oslo five times per week in October 2011 and Eastern Airways offers new direct flights between Glasgow and Stavanger.For meeting planners looking for an added attraction for delegates, The Pulpit Rock was voted first place in CNN International Interactive's Top 50 Natural Wonders - The Ultimate List of Scenic Splendour, by 24m readers. National Geographic also reports it is the most searched for attraction in its image bank.And with the Northern Lights over Norway said to be the strongest we've seen in 50 years this year, according to NASA, there's never been a better time to visit. Norway is to host 40 international association conferences in 2012. These include:11-15 June in OsloInternational Geostatistics Conference27-30 June in OsloMeeting of the International Neropsychological Society2-5 August in StavangerY'mens International Conference19-23 August in BergenInternational Society of Clinical Biostatistics Meeting17-21 September in BergenAnnual Science conference of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea1-5 September in OsloGeneral Meeting of the International Electrotechnical Commission5-12 December in BergenConference of the European Society of OceanistsFast Facts Norway sits in 26th place in the ICCA Country Rankings 2010, with 125 qualifying meetings. Oslo sits in 40th place in ICCA's City Rankings with 49 qualifying meetings The sun does not set in summer over the Arctic Circle, meaning visitors to Northern Norway enjoy 24 hours of daylight during the summer months of May to July Norway's success in the Winter Olympics has meant the country has a total of 280 medals (98 gold, 98 silver and 84 bronze) to its tally.40 wins Above: Norway is known for its nature attractions Capacity of Norway's largest convention centre VISIT NORWAY12,000www.visitnorway.com
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