Tourism and history
Early on, Voss developed connections with the outside world. The armed forces established training grounds in the vicinity and a variety of schools and colleges turned Voss into a centre of education. A number of small industrial companies were established towards the end of the 19th century. Roads and railways, and the range of hotels and places of accommodation, opened the area for tourism.
The British were the first tourists that came to Voss, in the middle of the 19th century, seeking outdoor activities such as salmon fishing, hiking in the mountains, and mountain climbing.
In Voss the authorities soon realised the importance of tourism as an economic sector, and in 1929 the local government established "Voss Turistnemd". This was an organisation focusing on the importance of tourism and in charge of marketing Voss in Norway and abroad.
After World War II, tourism developments increased rapidly. The ski lift in Bavallen opened in 1949 and this had a positive effect throughout Voss. Today, tourism is one of the most important economic sectors for Voss municipality.
Voss as a regional centre
Today, Voss is a lively community with approximately 14,000 inhabitants. Voss is the largest municipality in the county of Hordaland, covering 700 square miles, and the town is a regional centre for the inner areas of the county.
Tourism is a main economic activity, alongside agriculture and forestry, as well as commerce and various service industries that provide work for the majority of the residents of the municipality.
Landscape and nature
The landscape was shaped through millions of years, affected by the sea, glaciers and rivers eroding the rock and carving out smaller and larger valleys. Around 9,000 years ago, most of the ice disappeared. All the large plains in Voss were made by glacial rivers, which ended in the sea or in large glacier lakes.
Voss town centre is situated approximately 187 feet above sea level, which is a surprise to many people finding themselves surrounded by mountains. Visitors to Voss are seeking experiences closely connected to the landscape dominated by mountains, valleys of woodland and farmland, waterfalls, rivers and lakes.
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