With the exception of Stavanger, hard hit by the dive in oil prices, hotels in many Norwegian cities could report a hot summer season with high occupancy rates and higher room rates as well. In Kristiansand, some hotels broke records.
“It was an extreme summer,” Håvard Solum, director of the Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda hotel in Kristiansand, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “In July, we had 23 days with a completely full hotel. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Hotels in Norway usually offer lower rates in the summer season because they rely much more on the business market than the tourist market. During summer, many Norwegians head for their own holiday homes or cabins instead of hotels and the business market dries up. This summer, however, a much weaker krone lessened the sting of Norway’s relatively high prices for tourists arrived from abroad, and far more visited. Good weather last year also apparently tempted a surprising number of Norwegian tourists to book a hotel summer holiday at home.
The weather wasn’t nearly as good, but they came anyway, also for special events like the Tall Ships Races and several music festivals in Kristiansand and elsewhere along the southern coast. DN reported that hotels registered occupancy rates of as high as 93 percent for July, and room prices rose 12.6 percent to an average NOK 1226 (USD 153 at current exchange rates).
Business boomed as well in several other Norwegian cities including Bergen and Tromsø, but there was no relief in Stavanger. Occupancy rates fell 14.2 percent and room rates by 6.6 percent. The numbers for Stavanger, gathered by Benchmarking Alliance, included hotels in nearby Sandnes, Sola and Jæren.