The Tourism sector is hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and most of us face a lot of uncertainty around what our world will look like next month, next week, and even tomorrow.
Visit Norway is part of Innovation Norway, which is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.
At these times, this effort is more important than ever. With our financial instruments, and an economic stimulus package from the Government as a valuable addition in today’s situation, our advisors at the Innovation Norway regional offices work hard at serving the tourism companies, as well as other kinds of businesses, with the best economic aid, and support.
The Norwegian effort is very much in line with what the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states. “We still do not know what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on global tourism. However, we must support the sector now while we prepare for it to come back stronger and more sustainable. Recovery plans and programs for tourism will translate into jobs and economic growth.” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili in a recent statement.
The situation in Norway
Like many other countries, Norway has closed its borders for all non-residents, as a result of the ongoing situation. Changes to this situation will be immediately communicated by the Norwegian Government.
The situation for the Norwegian tourist industries are tough. According to a recent survey by the Norwegian Hospitality Association, 9 out of 10 tourism business have laid off employees. The same survey tells us that 6 out of 10 companies sees a high risk for bankruptcy, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What we do
As much as we would like to go forward with all our B2B and B2C profiling activities, this is not the right time for sales activities. Instead we spend our days, preparing for the best activities, both events and digital, for the times after the Covid-19 pandemic. For now, we also do some digital profiling activities, aimed at Norwegians.
At Visit Norway, we highly prioritize the good dialogues and planning, with both the Norwegian Government and all parts of the Norwegian tourism sector, including the Norwegian destination companies. We also work closely with Avinor, who is a wholly owned state limited company, and is responsible for 44 state-owned airports. The dialogues with the large hotel chains, airlines SAS and Norwegian are also ongoing.
The situation in Norway is still in a critical phase, like for many other countries. We have no idea about when business will back to normal, or how the situation would be like. Some believe that tourism will be partially up and running by this summer, however others believe we must wait for months after that.
One activity that we can assure will take place in 2020, is the digital version of the Norwegian Travel Workshop (NTW). Everyone who signed up for the Trondheim event in the beginning of April, will be contacted about the digital version of NTW.
We look forward to better times, and to once again have a Norwegian - and global - tourism industry that thrives and make a positive impact to the global economy.
Until then, take care of each other and stay safe.
We’ll see you soon!