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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Strong krone threatens hotels

Economic problems abroad combined with Norway’s strong currency, the krone, have left Norwegian hotel owners in outlying areas fearing that fewer tourists will be checking in this summer. They received some relief, however, from the postponement of new, protectionist rules that would restrict the foreign bus operators who drive tourists around in Norway.

“There’s no doubt that a strong krone and a weak euro will lead to fewer tourists from the European area,” Per Rustberggard, owner of Pers Hotell in Gol, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). Hotel consulting firm Horwath also predicts more “considerable weakness” in expectations among hotel owners.

Meanwhile, hotel owners who objected strenuously to new protectionist rules limiting the amount of time foreign bus operators can be in Norway could breathe a sigh of relief. The state delayed implementing the rules until lawyers could confirm they don’t violate Norway’s trade agreement with the EU.

Foreign bus operators faced having to limit the time they could drive in Norway to just 30 days in a row. The rules were to take effect from April 1, but also sparked objections from hotels in outlying areas that rely on foreign bus operators to bring them business.

One of the rules’ most vocal opponents, Hilde Charlotte Solheim of employers’ organization Virke, said the delay was welcome but the rules should just be scrapped altogether.

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