Tourists exploit campgrounds

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Campground owners along the scenic highway Atlanterhavsveien on Norway’s northwest coast are frustrated by the numbers of tourists driving expensive motor homes who pull in, use their facilities and then drive off again, in search of free accommodation elsewhere. Now a call is going out to impose high parking fees along the popular coastal highway, to prevent tbe camping van drivers from spending the night along it for free.

Atlanterhavsveien, a road and bridges connecting islands along the coast of Nordmøre south of Kristiansund, has long been a tourist attraction. Tourists in camping vans, however, don't seem willing to pay for parking accommodation along the way. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Atlanterhavsveien, a scenic road with bridges connecting islands along the coast of Nordmøre south of Kristiansund, has long been a tourist attraction. Tourists in camping vans, however, don’t seem willing to pay for parking accommodation along the way. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

“They swing in, ask to empty their septic tanks, fill their water tanks and use our toilets, only to drive back onto the highway and find a place to park for free,” campground owner Morten Holen told newspaper Tidens Krav in nearby Kristiansund. Holen’s family runs the campground Atlanterhavsveien Sjøstuer, and they feel both exploited and abused.

Some of the tourists, mostly driving motor homes with foreign license plates, even take a shower at Holen’s campground and don’t buy so much as a cup of coffee, he complained.

He and his colleagues think local or state officials should impose a fee on those who park along the highway to avoid the NOK 220 (EUR 25/USD 27) daily fee charged by the campgrounds. “It’s frustrating,” said Holen, whose family pays the costs of running their facilities while, he noted, Norwegian taxpayers have paid for construction of the scenic highway.

“It’s the foreign toursits, especially those from France, who won’t pay,” Holen told Tidens Krav. “They’ll drive around and look for places to park in the lots of public buildings that have motor-warming outlets, also in the parking lots of schools, where it’s free,” he said.

Holen’s proposal for an overnight parking fee is supported by the national organization Norsk Bobil- og Caravanklubb. There were no immediate word on how high such a fee should be.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund