Tourism heats up in the north

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Norway’s Arctic regions are experiencing another boom in tourism this summer. Hotels in the coastal city of Harstad, for example, can report occupancy rates of between 85- and 90 percent.

Many cite spillover effects from the tourist magnet of nearby Lofoten. “Lofoten tourism spills over on Harstad, when we steadily more often hear that Lofoten is nearly fully booked,” Knut-Eirik Dybdal fo the Sandic Hotel Harstad told newspaper Harstad Tidende. “So they seek out other places.” Prices in Harstad can also be lower than in Lofoten.

Harstad Tidende reported that both the Thon and Clarion hotels in Harstad plan to expand with 50 and 37 new rooms respectively. “That amounts to the equivalent of a new hotel,” Dybdal said, but noted that since all three hotels in the city are often fully booked both summer and winter, “that indicates a need for an increase in capacity.” staff