A pandemic-free summer holiday looms on the horizon, and it seems that many Norwegians are still choosing Norway as their summer vacation destination.
The big increase is a trend in Oslo, and it’s a trend across Norway in general. For now, we’re back to the level it was before the pandemic, says Thon Executive Vice President Morten Thorvaldsen.
According to Thorvaldsen, it is foreign tourists and Norwegians who are interested in progress – not only in the summer, but also throughout the year.
It’s well booked in Oslo all summer and into the first quarter of 2023.
One thing could be a problem
Hotel manager Kjetil Smørås in De Bergenske says there are also good reservations in Bergen for the summer. He says people are happy to finally be able to tour again.
– I’ve never experienced such a strong pre-booking flow.
Although the hotel industry is in great demand, Smørås assures that it is still possible to find hotel rooms available.
Not least because there have been a number of cancellations. There is some difference in how many and how many people have ordered. That’s how it is. So it’s always possible to pick up canceled rooms, he says.
Thorvaldsen points to another challenge that may arise.
– There can be some problems getting a room if you call on the same day, but most of the time it goes well.
Hotel rooms are more expensive
However, a significant increase leads to a noticeable rise in prices in the capital and other popular destinations.
Prices have gone up, yes. It gets more expensive the longer you wait. We generally have a price increase of about 10 percent, Thorvaldsen says, due to demand and increased product costs.
Smørås points out two factors that drive up prices in his hotels.
We have seen a very large increase in the prices of our input factors, which are the prices of electricity and raw materials. It is also very good that our employees have received a good pay raise this year.
There is only one way to cover the higher costs, and that is to charge the right prices, he says
Thus, people should expect hotel room rates to rise somewhat, Smores says. However, he sees a change in the tourists, as they are willing to pay for the large and quality rooms.
– When we were previously left with the big and a little expensive rooms, it’s a bit the opposite now. The largest and most expensive rooms are the first to go.
The Norwegians are advised to hurry up
Industry Director for Culture and Experiences at VIRKE, Rhiannon Hovden Edwards, confirms this trend. She says demand for hotels and other accommodations has nearly doubled since before the pandemic.
So she advises travelers to get out early to book a Norwegian holiday.
– If you have specific desires, and you are going to the most famous place, I will hurry to make a reservation. Norway is big, long and varied, so if you don’t get a place you want, there are many other good alternatives.
Edwards highlights low employment as a challenge.
Industries hit hard by the pandemic have lost many employees, and now it’s hard to get enough people back.
So she advises tourists to be patient and understanding this summer.
– Take things in steps. There are many people who are new to the business, and many are doing it for the first time.
The NHO reported that in some places the demand for hotels is greater than usual.
– Especially in some cities, such as Oslo and Stavanger, says NHO Tourism Director of Communications. Many hotels are back to normal levels, and in some places the level is higher than normal, says NHO Reiseliv Director of Communications Merete Habberstad.
4 out of 10 travel companies are back to normal, and 2 out of 10 are above normal, according to the NHO.
Most of them Norwegians fill hotels, Haberstad says.
She says half of the NHO’s member firms see an increase over the next six months.
Habberstad also mentioned that the hotel staff is a challenge.
– Several hotels lack staff, and the spread of the epidemic has been delayed. Some foreign seasonal workers returned home, and some found work in other industries. Many new employees
After the pandemic, many foreign seasonal workers returned home, and some found work in other industries, Haberstad says.
– There are some hotels that have to reduce working hours or eat in restaurants because of this. They need employees from abroad, especially chefs.
Addressing the long case makes the situation more difficult.
It should take less time to treat the condition, as it now takes about 4 months to get it, after which the summer is over.
Struggling to secure employees
Despite the fact that business organizations report that recruitment is a challenge, Smørås in De Bergenske says they have done well.
The only area where we had a little bit more challenge was the culinary side. We’re well covered, and it looks like it’s starting to loosen up a bit now. From June onwards, we have a good feel and good control over our production.
To the north, in Tromsø, hotels report a more normal situation, but securing enough staff means headaches.
At Quality Hotel Saga they go to great lengths to get summer solitaire.
– We’ve been able to secure good staff all summer, but that has been a lot more demanding. I got skewed when I advertised jobs, and I suspect it has something to do with labor migration. It’s daunting, but we at least managed to secure ourselves in the summer, says hotel manager Yevgeny Melnikov.
He says that by a good margin a place in Tromsø can still be secured.
“Some weeks are relatively full, but there is adequate capacity anyway, and it is entirely possible to get a room,” Melnikov says.
Marius Thorsen, hotel manager at Smart Hotels in Tromsø, says summer traffic varies.
– Looks good. We have completely free periods, but also fully booked periods in connection with some events, says Thorsen.
But hotel rooms are getting more expensive – also in Tromso.
We are seeing an increase in prices compared to last year, but the prices are still affordable.
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