Protests rise over hotel quarantine

Complaints about Norway’s new hotel quarantine rules continue to pour in. They’re supposed to apply to everyone arriving from outside the EU and Schengen areas, but defense personnel, as many as 2,000 foreign service employees, their familes and the diplomatic corps in Oslo are exempt. Both legal and medical experts are now raising objections. Members […]

EFTA questions quarantine hotels

Debate has been swirling around Norway’s new “quarantine hotels” that opened last month, right after the country’s Corona virus containment measures were tightened. Now the European Free Trade Association’s surveillance authority (ESA) is questioning whether mandatory quarantine at the hotels complies with its rules that Norway is also obliged to follow. The EU itself is […]

Long-term jobless ‘alarmingly high’

Closed restaurants and empty streets have added to the November gloom, and sent Norway’s numbers of “long-term unemployed” up nearly 72 percent so far this year. The increase is blamed almost entirely on the Corona crisis that’s now turning temporary layoffs into terminations. “Long-term unemployment is now at an alarmingly high level,” says Hans Christian […]

New arrivals sent to ‘Hotel Quarantine’

Scores of people arriving from abroad at Norway’s gateway airport OSL are suddenly subject to a surprise landing. If they’re not registered as residents of Norway, or own property in the country, the vast majority have been taken directly from the airport to a nearby hotel where they have to stay in quarantine for the […]

Unemployment falls but job fears loom

The latest numbers from state welfare agency NAV show 83,000 fewer job seekers in June than in May, and Norway’s official unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent. Hard-hit hotel- and travel businesses still fear the worst, though, and warn of a new wave of terminations later this summer. “The numbers of people without jobs continue […]

Hotel owner part of group buying Ving

Petter Stordalen, Norway’s flamboyant hotel owner and real estate investor, emerged Wednesday as part of a group that’s buying the Ving charter tour group’s operations in the Nordic countries from the bankrupt travel firm Thomas Cook. Stordalen’s Strawberry Group will take over Vinggruppen along with investment funds Altor and TDR Capital. Strawberry and Altor are […]

Tourism heats up in the north

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 […]

Real estate tycoon honeymoons at 95

Norway’s 95-year-old real estate investor and hotel tycoon Olav Thon has been on an albeit short honeymoon this summer, after marrying his long-time sweetheart and former judge Sissel Berdal Haga (age 78). The couple has proven, according to Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen, that there’s no age limit on love. “If this isn’t the ultimate happiness, […]

Norway to crack down on Airbnb

The Norwegian government is poised to tighten and clarify regulations for short-term rental of residential property, in new legislation sent to Parliament on Friday. The goal is to crack down on what government minister Monica Mæland calls the “pure hotel operations” that have sprung up since online accommodation service Airbnb entered the market. The main […]

Fewer Chinese tourists in Norway

After several years with strong growth, the numbers of Chinese tourists spending the night in Norwegian hotels have fallen this summer. So have the numbers of overnight visitors from the UK and Sweden, while Germans and Americans pushed the numbers up. The trend from June continued in July, according to the latest figures from state […]