Many European cities have been affected by people’s fear of travelling in the aftermath of the attacks in Western Europe.However, in Oslo and Norway, this year still looks like it will be a record year for tourism.
The decline in airline and hotel bookings have spread throughout European cities, countries and airlines because of the uncertain economic and security situation in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A survey done by the newspaper, shows that hotels in Rome, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Nice have experienced a marked decline in the number of orders after July 14, when the terrorist attack in Nice hit France. The decline is pronounced compared with the same period last year.
However, it does not look as if international tourism to Norway will be affected, according to Audun Pettersen, manager of the department of tourism at Innovation Norway, the organization that operates the website Visit Norway.
– We do not yet know how the terror in Europe will affect the holiday plans of Europeans who start their public holiday now, but we have not yet seen anything to indicate that people will cancel trips to Norway which they have previously orderer. Norway and Scandinavian destinations in general are viewed as safe and simple destination, Pettersen, who has been in contact with hotels and international airlines, says.
– People forget quickly
For Norwegians who travel abroad, the same applies, even though the airlines experienced an effect on flights to the specific destinations Nice and Istanbul on the first days after the events there.
– Generally speaking we find that the demand is stable and good in both the short and long term. We see, however, that Turkey has become less popular over the last year, which meant that we chose not to continue our summer route between Oslo and Istanbul this year, communications manager for Norwegian, Lasse Sandakerveien Nielsen, says.
He also says that some people cancelled their flights there just after the attempt coup, and that the airline observed the same tendency for flights to Paris after the attack there in 2015, but the desire for travelling to Nice seems to be unaffected.
– Our experience is that people forget pretty quickly. People still travel to Nice, and many travel to other places in the South of France. We see yet no changes in people’s travel patterns to and from Germany, he informs.
Likely a new record year for tourism
While Lufthansa, KLM and several major European travel agencies are reporting lower profit forecasts due to reduced tourism to major cities in Europe, the figures for Norway so far show the opposite tendency.
Figures from Statistics Norway show that the number of overnight stays in hotels, cottages and campsites abroad increased by 8 percent in the period from January to May compared with the same period last year. That means this is likely to be the third consecutive record year for Norwegian tourism.
– This is likely to be a very good travelling year for Norway, and a record year for tourism in Norway, Pettersen says.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today