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A region full of experiences

In the Haugesund region you can experience coastal culture, Viking history, beautiful countryside with fjords and waterfalls, idyllic island communities, such as on Røvær and Utsira, and charming small towns such as Skudeneshavn. Haugesund centre gives you the chance to enjoy some town life, with a wide range of culture, shopping, restaurants and wonderful cafes. Tourism is an important industry in the region and there is no shortage of unforgettable experiences. Want to find out more about experiences in the region? Check out Nine Good Reasons to Visit Haugesund & Haugalandet.

Norway’s maritime capital

Did you know that Haugesund is known as Norway’s maritime capital? It’s not without reason that the Norwegian Maritime Authority established its headquarters in Haugesund, the Norwegian Coastal Administration is strongly represented, and Haugesund is home to a number of shipping companies. The region is also home to important maritime consortiums (such as Norwegian Offshore Wind) and is also a major player when it comes to aquaculture, underwater technology and feed barges.

Each year, countless professional conferences and annual meetings are held in the region. Floating Wind Days and National Maritime Summit are among the largest annual conferences in the maritime industry in our region. Both conferences attract delegates from all around the world.

Other important industries

The Haugesund region has strong communities in the petro-maritime consortium, and in the energy and processing industries. There are a number of large and well-known companies in the region, such as Aibel in Haugesund, Kårstø processing plant at Gassco, Hydro Aluminium on Karmøy, Equinor and the Eramet smelting plant in Sauda, to name a few. Other exciting and innovative industries include electronics, gas and computer technology. The world-renowned AutoStore, a robotic warehouse picking system, was founded and has its headquarters in Vindafjord. Green energy is a major area of investment in the region. Haugaland Næringspark (business park) – Norway’s largest fully regulated commercial area, with over 1,200 acres of regulated commercial space, port facilities and deep-water quays – has a clear ambition of attracting green industries that require large amounts of land and energy.

Retail is another major industry. In fact, the region has one of Norway’s largest retail revenues per capita (source: Haugaland Vekst). Haugesund is known for its lively city centre and has a number of exciting niche shops, cafés and restaurants that you will not find anywhere else in Norway. This is intricately linked to tourism, an important industry in the region. The growing number of cruise tourists helps increase value creation and development in the region. Haugesund won the acclaimed Port of the Year award at the Seatrade Cruise Awards in 2023 and was one of the first cruise ports in Norway to offer shore power.

Academic communities

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has an excellent academic environment and offers programmes in areas such as health and social sciences, sports, outdoor recreation & public health, engineering and technology, business management and maritime studies. The programmes are at bachelor, master and PhD level. When it comes to healthcare, Haugesund Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (HSR) deserves a mention as a specialist hospital for patients with rheumatic diseases and different types of skin disease. Haugesund Hospital is an emergency hospital for the region and works closely with the university hospitals in Stavanger and Bergen. Haugesund is known in some circles as the birthplace of Norway’s largest fertility clinic: Klinikk Hausken.

Culture and sport

Throughout the year, the region hosts a number of festivals, cultural experiences and sporting events for children and adults. There are an array of theatre shows, concerts and festivals. Two of the most famous festivals in the region are Sildajazz and the Norwegian Film Festival, and other well-known annual festivals include the Viking Festival at Avaldsnes, Karmøygeddon Metal Festival, Vangen Festival, Skude Festival, Skånevik Blues Festival and Vikedal Roots.

Sport is important to many of the locals. Some of them are athletes themselves or work as coaches, while others are volunteers or ardent supporters. Haugesund Toppidrettsgymnas (HTG) sports academy, which has a lower and upper secondary school, is a popular place of study for budding athletes. There are strong sporting communities, including football, with FK Haugesund and Avaldsnes at the forefront, as well as weightlifting, kayaking, equestrian sports, curling, orienteering, climbing, powerlifting, volleyball, combat sport, athletics, baton twirling and triathlon, to name a few. The town hosted the Ironman triathlon competition for a number of years, and many large championships have been held at various sites and venues in the region.

Roadmap for Haugalandet 2021–2025: Strategy for business development

The regional strategy for business development highlights four strategic opportunity areas.

  • Green energy & industry: the region is well positioned in terms of expertise and natural opportunities to generate new investments in such areas such as battery production, offshore wind and hydrogen.
  • The ocean economy: the maritime industry has long been an extremely important industry and it’s expected that the industry will continue to grow. Floating offshore wind, aquaculture, and other offshore industries are highlighted.
  • Aquaculture & agriculture: there is considered to be large potential for value creation in food production from both aquaculture and agriculture.
  • Tourism & experiences: the region’s tourism industry has seen a positive development and there are good growth opportunities in developing attractions, sustainability and marketing. The focus on cruise tourism has been a great success.

Please contact if you would like to apply for a championship, conference or other event to be held in the region (or for advice and support for an event that is already planned). Feel free to contact us for help building a programme of activities around an event, or for suggestions for company visits.