At Tone Rønning Vike’s Farm Hotel in Aurland, we recently got ready in full swing to welcome guests. This year’s season looks to be better than expected.
She shows the flowering pear tree she has grown in the backyard, but it’s not just fruit trees.
Over the years, Don and her husband have invested everything in farm tourism in beautiful Orland in Schn and created a tourist gem that attracts travelers from all over the world.
This should be the beginning of an adventure.
But then came the corona infection.
Borrowed in crisis
All bookings for the hotel are 29 | 2 March 12, 2020 had disappeared almost overnight and it was clear that the community was closing.
– Since then, it’s only a Ragnarok, because we are missing out on bookings for 5.5 million kroner, says Don Ronning.
– It’s been our two difficult years now, says the hotel owner that we have not finished yet.
During this period of uncertainty NOK cost 15 million and debt NOK rose to 18 million.
– We have taken emergency loans. It was me. So this year I had to repay that crisis debt. Add ho.
More booking numbers
Nevertheless, when TV2 went to her farm hotel in the first half of May, optimism was well seen.
One of the bright spots is the appointment of Don Henny Danberg as hotel manager full time. He has traveled all the way from Drumman to the team.
– The hotel has values I believe in and I love working, says Danberg.
Environmental issues and landscape management are topics of interest to hotel drivers. They run one of 18 certified ecotourism activities in this country.
Now they are waiting to welcome nature-loving tourists from home and abroad. The wood-fired hot tub is new this year. Tone thinks it will be popular.
– Bookings are on the rise. They are so much more than we had when the epidemic broke out, he explains.
Reports of whole houses
A recent survey shows that tourists have now returned to Norway.
Strong growth in booking numbers
Give an overview of hotel bookings collected during the summer months (June, July and August). April 3 this year and April 3 last year:
- Stavanger: 150 percent more bookings than last year
- Gardermoen: 144 percent higher
- Oslo: 142 percent higher
- Bergen: 86 percent more
- Tromsø: 67 percent more
- Trondheim: 66 percent higher
- Christianchand: 46 percent more
- In addition, there is a selection data of hotels in small towns and cities in western Norway. The corresponding growth is 92 percent.
Data from the Benchmarking Coalition, produced by Peder Wiederstrøm for NHO Reiseliv, show a 46 percent to 150 percent increase in bookings in major cities.
Cities and small towns in western Norway increased by 92 percent.
– Kristin Krohn Devold, CEO of NHO Reiseliv, says: “We are seeing very high bookings from Norwegians, and with European guests, it means we are far ahead of last year’s.
– Cities that traditionally depend on foreign guests, such as Bergen and Oslo, have grown by more than 100 percent, he adds.
According to Devold, some member activities of the NHO Reiseliv are already reporting full houses during some important holiday weeks.
Strengthen the course
During the epidemics, Norwegians went on holiday in their home countries. This is how it is. Tourism has been highly modified for this target group.
– People are turning to nature in their own country, and now we are seeing a radical trend, says DeVolt.
He feels that both tourists and industry are more involved in sustainable tourism and nature holidays.
Call for government assistance
But economic trends are not so favorable.
DeVolt says one has previously noticed that money-saving measures can be used in bad times. In addition, debt has increased through epidemics.
Therefore, it is comforting to know that tourism is currently booming and bookings are on the rise.
– It is clear that it is worrying if you do not get a good season with good returns. DeWalt says this also applies to large debts that one holds to the level of taxes and fees, as one has two years without income.
– We hope you are in the state. Where there is a basis for that, we can push the debt a little further to help people. Ideally, one should have a lower interest rate on government debt than it is now. But this is why we continue to work against state officials. We certainly see that companies will need a helping hand later this year as well.
Tourists from 40 countries
Currently, tourists are visiting again.
Nigel Gordon was one of the first tourists to visit the quiet Flame in Orland this season. He is traveling from the UK.
– After infection, it is better to go out without a mask. It’s a wonderful feeling says the cruise traveler.
In Flam, a new uncertainty was feared when the war in Ukraine came suddenly after the epidemic.
– We now have orders from forty countries and markets, and have not yet seen the direct effects of what is happening in Ukraine, says Arv Dokwam, chief executive of Norway’s Best Travel Company.
– Where do most tourists come from?
– For our part, the United States and Norway are the largest segment of the market. There are many countries in Europe that are clear so far, Tokwam says.
Pure air and love
Back at the farm in Orland, Don Ronning is delighted to see fresh asparagus growing. Tourists are expected to be served food directly from the field and food from the surrounding farms.
– Tourism not only gives people a little love and attention, but also brings clean air and beautiful scenery. Big posts, small posts, she says thoughtfully.
– We have debts and critical debts in our minds. We will not be rich from this, but we will have at least some rich days, and I look forward to the future, “Ronnie Wyck concludes.
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