The slowdown in the oil sector has hit Norway’s hotel industry hard, especially in Stavanger when revenues per room have declined by 30 percent just in the past year. At the same time, around 1,000 more hotel rooms are coming on line, adding to the imbalance of supply and demand.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that hotels in Kristiansund, Bergen and Trondheim are also hurting, but the situation remains worst in Norway’s so-called “oil capital” of Stavanger. “When the market slams you in the face, of course it’s tough,” Odd Petter Meinseth, hotel director at the new Scandic Stavanger City, told DN. The 226-room hotel opened April 30 last year, just before oil prices started to fall and the market collapsed, leaving the hotels with around half their rooms empty on an overall basis.
“Everyone has been suffering, it’s dramatic,” Meinseth said. No one, he said, could be prepared for more rooms, fewer guests and lower rates. Occupancy rates have held up in Tromsø, thanks to northern lights tourists, but in Kristiansand they’re down to as low as 40 percent and just 45 percent in Stavanger including Sola and Sandnes, according to figures from Benchmarking Alliance and Horwath Consulting.
Kristin Krohn Devold, head of employers’ organization NHO Reiseliv, is urging the hotels to boost their international marketing to take advantage of the weaker krone, and to seek more leisure guests in the tourism market instead of relying on the business market.