Tag Archives: tourism

BREAKING – TRAVELLERS FROM NON-NORDIC COUNTRIES BANNED, PLAN TO SEND THOSE HERE HOME: Justice ministry OKs tougher Svalbard policy; affects first passengers Friday

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All people arriving in Norway from non-Nordic countries are prohibited to travel to Svalbard while strict coronavirus restrictions are in effect, Svalbardposten reported Friday. The restriction, following a meeting by The Governor of Svalbard with Norway’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security, was prompted by concerns Svalbard doesn’t have the capability of hosting such tourists for a mandatory 14-day period. Plans are also now being made to send such visitors who’ve arrived since Feb. 27 (when the quarantine retroactively applies to) back home.

A text message sent by Longyearbyen’s emergency preparedness advisor Friday afternoon states the ban applies to everyone – tourists and permanent residents – although there was immense confusion early on about specifics of the policy. Comments posted on social media shortly after the ban was announced stated locals trying to return from trips to Oslo were being denied if they didn’t hold Norwegian passports.

LONGYEARBYEN SEEKS HALT OF INCOMING TOURISTS: Mayor says Svalbard not equipped for quarantine of visitors from non-Nordic countries; asks Norwegian government for ban

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Longyearbyen is requesting the Norwegian government ban tourists from non-Nordic countries from arriving in Svalbard during a mandatory 14-day quarantine enacted Thursday due to the coronavirus, stating the isolated archipelago is not adequately able to accommodate them.

SVALBARD BUSINESSES HARDEST HIT BY CORONAVIRUS: 38 percent of companies report lower demand or cancellations, compared to 21 percent for all of Norway, NHO reports

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Svalbard is already suffering the worst effects of the coronavirus – even though there aren’t any officially diagnosed cases, as no positive tests are reported so far among the first people quarantined locally – as The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) reports businesses in the archipelago are being hit the hardest economically of any region in Norway.

‘YOUR PLANE TRAVEL DESTROYS POLAR BEAR HABITAT’: Flying to/from Svalbard melts about 3 sq. m. of ice, study suggests

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Folks who criticize as hypocritical all those scientists and tourists flying to Svalbard to see the pristine environment and effects of climate change have a new scientific number of their own to cite – each round-trip flight emits enough CO2 to melt about three square meters of the sea ice that is vital for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

BETTER GUIDES AND FEWER TOURISTS? Norway’s government seeks certification requirements for guides, arguing for safety and protection even if it means fewer visitors

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Requirements for guides in Svalbard to be certified to further a goal of safer and more environmentally sustainable tourism are being drafted Norway’s government, with the acknowledgement “this may lead to fewer tourists choosing Svalbard.”

But while the general objectives of the regulations were released Tuesday, the specifics – including whether they’ll address a multitude of concerns raised by guides and some others in the industry including labor workshift, safety, wage and other alleged unfair practices – remain to be seen.

POLITICIANS TARGET TOTS AND TOURISTS: Visitor tax, private kindergarten among priorities for new city council majority

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A tax on tourists, separating the harbor from other local government operations and allowing privately operated kindergartens are among the proposals in a platform drafted by the new, more conservative majority of the Longyearbyen Community Council as it officially took office Monday.

BUILDING THE ECONOMY UP: Economic activity in Svalbard increases 11.4 percent in 2018, due largely to construction

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The past few years of economic and literal destruction in Longyearbyen due to the near elimination of mining as a cornerstone industry and existing homes due to risks caused by climate change has paved the way for a strong rebound in economic activity, as total gross income for Svalbard increased 11.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, Statistics Norway reported Thursday.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of July 28-Aug. 3, 2019

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Direct flights to/from Greenland’s northernmost tip, summer hotel stays down for the first time since 2013, Svalbard Vet now offers 24/7 care and more recent headlines from mainstream local and global media.

A bit less crowded: Scaled-down cruise ship season gets scaled-down local welcome – until new visitor center can ramp things up

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The first large cruise ship of the year docked in Longyearbyen early Wednesday morning and, unlike previous years, there was no welcoming party by locals to greet it.

But it had nothing to do with whatever frustrations some residents have had about the crowds of visitors arriving on increasingly large ships (although there will be notably fewer of them than last year). Rather, the welcoming is briefly on hold until a more personal one is possible when a new visitor center at the dock is finished.

SCOOTER OFF: Governor overrules city, orders Hurtigruten Svalbard to immediately remove dozens of snowmobiles from open field due to complaints

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“No parking” of snowmobiles in a large field near the edge of Longyearbyen does not mean the city can violate its own code by declaring “except for a huge tourist fleet,” The Governor of Svalbard stated Friday in order demanding Hurtigruten Svalbard immediately remove dozens of its rental units from the area due to complaints from residents.