One of the first tourists registered in Hemsedal was the polar explorer Fritjof Nansen, who visited in 1898.
Until 1960 tourism was of little significance in Hemsedal.
Most tourists came for Christmas, winter holiday and Easter, together with hunting, fishing, mountain hiking.
The main industry was still agriculture.
The development started in 1961 when Hemsedal Skiheiser AS was established and the first ski lift was build.
Until 1980 the development was quite conservative,
but within the years of 1980-85 there was a significant growth. New hotels, apartments, cabins, restaurants and shops where built and new activities and attractions developed.
The largest growth has been from 1985 until today.
Today Hemsedal is a popular destination where Hemsedal Skisenter is the main attraction.
Hemsedal has approx. 7000 beds, and tourism is the largest trade in the village.
The summer tourism has grown along with the winter.
All-year-round tourism is very important both for the trade economy and the working situation for people living in Hemsedal.
During summer the strenghts of Hemsedal are the beautiful mountain landscapes, a wide range of activities and a short distance to the Sognefjord. The two golf courses have also given summer tourism a rise.