Recreational travel in Norway has been severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis, according to a new analysis.
The sector is a significant contributor to the Scandinavian country’s economy. According to 2017 figures, tourism was responsible for 4.2 percent of Norway’s GDP that year, with a total of 170 billion kroner brought in by the sector, of which 50 billion came from foreign tourists. One in 15 Norwegian jobs in 2017 were in tourism.
A new analysis conducted for industry interest organisation NHO Reiseliv has found that the sector has taken a significant blow due to the limitations placed on travel by the coronavirus.
According to the analysis, the tourism sector in Norway lost 41 billion kroner between January and August 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis.
That corresponds to a drop of 30 percent in the sector’s activity compared to the same months in 2019 (with 96 billion kroner in 2020 compared to 137 billion kroner in 2019), the report notes.
“We are again seeing confirmation that tourism needs help covering its overheads until the coronavirus crisis ends. Without help, jobs are going to be wiped out,” NHO Reiseliv CEO Kristin Krohn Devold said.
Foreign tourists have been largely absent in 2020 compared to previous years, but although Norwegian domestic tourists were able to compensate to this for some extent in the peak months of June and July, August saw a larger deficit, the report found.
Business travel has also been similarly impaired. From January to August this year, consumption due to business travel fell by 30 percent from 17.4 billion kroner in 2019 to 12.2 billion kroner in 2020.
In the report, Devold called for “compensation for up to 80 percent of overheads going forward for as long as the virus lasts”.