NRK has contacted more than 20 mountain municipalities where cabin tourism is a major industry, and we asked them if they thought higher electricity prices would affect cabin tourism.
The overall tone is that mayors, councilors and municipal directors fear higher electricity prices will lead to empty cabins for the winter.
– We are concerned. This can be difficult for the trade center and alpine resorts, says Eva Rismo, municipal director in the municipality of Knorr and Uvdal.
As the scale creeps downward, disbelief is spreading in the country’s largest mountain cottage municipalities. It already exists Fewer used signs their mountain huts this autumn than usual. And It gets worse when freezing temperatures arrive. The consequences for local businesses can be great.
– If the cabin people do not use their cabins in the future, it will severely affect the business world, with fewer jobs and less trade, says the mayor of Øyer Municipality, Jan Halvar Mitmakeli (SP).
Midmakeli worries about growth. – The storm is with electricity prices, interest rates, food prices and fuel. In an already strained municipal economy, this will have a very negative effect, Maghely asserts.
The concern is shared by many.
– Because the cost of electricity for vacation homes is so high, expect the number of days cabins are used to decrease. Kjersti Forbord Jensås, municipal director at Røros Municipality, says the economic ripple effects for local businesses and experience industries will also be reduced.
No wonder you’re a little afraid of the dark right now—exposure
– Become very negative
Forbord Jensås fears the ripple effects could be huge.
Recreational population is important for commercial industry in cottage municipalities like Røros. The trading sector has small margins, so if the number of days in cabins or the willingness to pay is reduced as a result of higher electricity prices it will be clearly felt in this sector, Forbord Jensås emphasizes. The entertainment population is important for cultural life and the experience industry such as events and festivals.
The same anxiety for winter is experienced in Øystre Slidre.
– The reduced use of the cabins has a huge impact on local businesses such as trade and adventure businesses, so this will be serious, says Councilor Jostin Annestad.
The mayor of Hol, a large shanty town, is also worried about the cold weather.
– Many will limit their time in the cabin beyond the winter. If there are fewer cabin tourists, sales will fail. This is worrying, says Peter Rucke (AP), the mayor in Hol.
The municipality believes that the electricity revenue should be shared
Erik Alvar is the head of the Sjusjøen Welfare Association in Ringsaker, Norway’s largest shanty municipality.
He says the cabin owners are worried and frustrated now that electricity bills are skyrocketing. Many say they cannot use their rooms.
The charity on Sjusjøen, together with eight other charities, is now sending letters to the state and the municipality of Ringsaker. Charities hope that politicians will understand the gravity and believe that action is necessary.
– This is a warning from us about the consequences of high electricity prices for cabin owners and companies whose livelihood is cabin tourism, Alwar points out.
read more: I think cabin owners are treated differently
Affects ordinary people
– There are ordinary people who own cabins in our area. Cabins in the Hills is the gold of the municipality. We at the wells in Ringsakerfjellet think it’s only fair that the municipality knows its arrival time and gives something back, Alver says.
Among other things, the charities hope that the municipality should pay back some of what it earned from the municipal electricity company.
– It is very important to the municipality that local communities here in the mountains have stable activities, shops make money and people on the slopes. Alver says the municipality should contribute to the current situation.
The associations in Ringsaker hope that the state will also come forward with electricity support for the holiday homes, and are writing to the Storting about this.
– But many people think that the electricity subsidy can go to cottage castles, garages, yards and jacuzzis?
– In our area, there are sober rooms and standard rooms. “I don’t know anybody here that has Jacuzzis or hot tubs or anything else,” he says.
Cabin passengers are not given priority
But Anita Ihle Stein, mayor of Ringsaker (AP), insists the municipality has no plans. “give something back” For cabin people.
After farming and trading, he says, slum dwellers are further back in line when it comes to who gets electricity support.
– No, the matter is now and the situation is with everyone, there are no immediate plans for it. We have several chambers in the municipality that are important to us and the business world. At the same time, we are in a crisis, he says, which is more challenging than keeping a room.
– If people can’t get to the cabin, surely that will affect the business community in Ringsaker?
– Yes, of course this will happen, because these are important services that we have in the municipality. At the same time, when there’s a crisis, you have to prioritize, and then the individual has to figure out if they want to prioritize using something personal.
No municipality has contacted NRK that it is appropriate to directly financially support cottage owners to keep the wheels from turning in the commercial world. However, the concern about the effects of electricity prices is that many municipalities are now making it easier to report their home visits and thus receive electricity subsidies.
– We make reporting the move free of charge for a certain period of time, says Eva Rismo, municipal director in the municipality of Knorr and Uvdal.
– We have arranged for a temporary change of use, says Howard Kangas, municipal director in Ringepu Municipality.
The hope is then that squatters will leave more money in the municipalities, keeping the wheels turning in local businesses and bringing tax revenue to municipal coffers.
– Can’t go to the cabin
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