It’s already snowing at some of the mountain ski resorts in Norway, and they’re keen to launch what looks like a highly promising season. Never before, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), have early bookings been so strong.
“We’ve never had such good pre-season sales as we have now,” Mats Årjes of SkiStar, which runs ski resorts including Trysil and Hemsedal in southern Norway. More than half of the resort’s overnight accommodation is already reserved.
He thinks the increase is the result of a combination of the weak Norwegian currency, the krone, the ongoing development of the ski resort destinations and lots of days off in connection with the Christmas and Easter holidays. With Christmas running into the weekend, for example, many people are taking the entire week off.
The weaker krone makes prices in Norway much more competitive, though, and that’s been fueling strong growth in Norway’s tourism industry all year long. Hotels are especially enjoying much higher occupancy rates than they have in earlier years, despite many new hotels opening up or expanding.
Around 15,000 visitors from Great Britain are expected at Trysil this year, along with lots of Danish tourists. The ski resorts of Hafjell and Kvitfjell report a 23 percent increase in bookings, while Geilo is also enjoying strong pre-season sales.
The season may get underway early at alpine ski areas like Vierli in Vinje,Telemark County. Snow is already falling down and building up with around 10 centimeters on the ground. “We’re making preparations,” Kristin Larsen, manager at Vierli, told local newspaper Varden. “If it stays cold, we’ll get going.”