Record high in tourism spending in February – E24

Record high in tourism spending in February – E24

The historically weak krone and more uncertain economy haven’t put an end to Norwegian vacation plans. According to the DNB, Norwegians spent nearly $5 billion on tourism in February.

Vacation favourite: The Norwegian krone has historically been weak against the euro, but that doesn’t stop Norwegians from traveling to traditional holiday paradises like Las Palmas on Gran Canaria.
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DNB data on card usage shows that despite high interest rates and uncertain economic times, never before have Norwegians spent money on tourism in February like this year.

– Given the difficult economic conditions and also uncertainty in the future, we can probably expect Norwegians to be more proactive about booking holidays in the future, says data transformation manager Ine Oftedahl at DNB.

Norwegians spent 12 percent more on tourism in February this year than last year, and 5 percent more than in 2019. Last month, Norwegians spent nearly NOK 5 billion on tourism, according to the bank.

The card usage the bank is watching now shows abnormally high travel activity at the start of the year, says Oftedahl, but it’s also a strong indicator of a high desire to travel in the run-up to Easter and summer holidays, such as February. Often the month when people really start booking holidays.

– High card usage shows that we don’t want to save money on vacation trips.

Card usage is increasing most for those over 50 without a mortgage, and high-income earners spent nearly three times as much as low-income earners on travel in February.

You want sun and warmth: DNB director Ine Oftedahl says Norwegians have chosen sun and warmth over cross-border trade and weekend trips to the neighboring country.

Historically twice the krone

If you ignore the pandemic year and the peak in September last year, the krone exchange rate has not been weaker against the dollar since the Bank of Norway began keeping statistics in 1915.

Aside from the 2020 pandemic year, the krone has not been weaker against the euro since the currency was introduced electronically in 1999.

However, Norwegians are turning to traditional travel destinations such as Spain, Greece and Croatia this summer, according to Terje Berg, commercial director at Finn Ries. Shows flight and holiday bookings on Finn.no.

Never mind the currency: Spain, Greece and Croatia are the most attractive destinations among Norwegians this summer, says Terje Berg, commercial director of Finn reise.

– that’s where you go, even if it’s more expensive.

He says Venn has had a record number of hits on flights and holidays since Christmas, and that the number of bookings is almost back to the 2019 level.

For Easter holiday packages, Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Crete and Italy apply.

– We believe that as the economy becomes more difficult for people, more people will travel to Bulgaria, Albania, Poland and Turkey, where you get more for your money. But for now, Norwegians don’t seem to care much about the currency, says Terje Berg.

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Think More Travel Here: For restless Norwegians, Albania is among the most economical travel destinations. The photo shows the Vjosa River in Albania.

Sweden is being pushed off the throne

According to the DNB, Sweden is usually the most popular country to visit at the beginning of the year, but this year Spain pushed Sweden off the throne.

Data from the bank shows that 18 percent of physical card use by Norwegians abroad so far this year has been in Spain. Especially those over 50 years of age increase the use of the card here.

– It is clear that Norwegians are very keen on sun and warmth, rather than cross-border trade and weekend trips to Stockholm, says In Avtedal.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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