Tag Archives: Visit Svalbard

HALF OF NORMAL TOURISM = TWICE AS NICE NOW: Average of 226 overnight visits in Svalbard this week is highest since September; numbers rise rapidly after COVID-19 test setback

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Chart by Visit Svalbard

An average of 226 overnight visitors are expected this week in Svalbard which, while scant in comparison to the 537 visitors in 2019 and 486 in 2020, is nonetheless the highest average since last September, according to Visit Svalbard.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 9, 2021

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Illustration of renovated Svalbardbutikken by Reactor AS

New portion of Svalbardbutikken scheduled to open in March, 40 percent of tourists cancel visits during first week after negative COVID-19 test is required to enter Svalbard and 20 applicants seek eight million kroner (although far less will be available) in the latest Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund grants.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 8, 2020

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Relocated cemetery targeted for completion in 2022

The relocation of Longyearbyen’s cemetery, due to avalanche and landslide exposure in the current location, is proposed for completion in 2022 at a cost of three million kroner.

NOW THIS IS A COOL WAY SVALBARD’S GONE VIRUAL: New Facebook hub for ‘dream trips’ by those who been for those who want to come gets nearly 2,500 members in first 24 hours

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There’s been no shortage of ways to visit Svalbard virtually in recent years but, since that’s now the only way for outsiders to experience the archipelago for what may be many months due to coronavirus restrictions, a new online “dream trip” portal for those with such experiences sharing them with folks hoping to do so someday is growing at a rate COVID-19 can’t possibly match.

A “Legg Ferien til Svalbard” Facebook page launched by Visit Svalbard at midday Friday had nearly 2,500 members sign up during the first 24 hours. Hundreds of photos by those with dozens with tales to tell are being shared from all areas in the archipalago in multiple languages by local residents, tour guides, visitors with blogs and other sites, and others.

UP TO 90 PERCENT OF LONGYEARBYEN’S TOURISM EMPLOYEES FACING LAYOFFS? ‘This will have a ripple effect for several years to come,’ Visit Svalbard director tells NRK

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Up to 90 percent of Longyearbyen’s tourism employees are facing layoffs and the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic will likely last for years, Visit Svalbard Director Ronny Strømnes told NRK on Wednesday.

“We see the situation as very dramatic and that this will have a ripple effect for several years to come,” he told the Norwegian news agency.

The assessment occurred the same day Svalbardposten reported Svalbard Adventures, Longyearbyen’s second-largest tour operator, has laid off 85 percent of its employees and one-third of those are ineligible for Norway’s unemployment benefits. Many smaller companies and freelance operators have come to a near or complete halt, if not officially shutting down completely.

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.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 3, 2019

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An expansion to nearly double the size of Svalbardbutikken beginning soon, a large amount of sea ice around Svalbard is definitely not a sign climate change impacts are lessening, and the lack of a director at Visit Svalbard for the past eight months is taking a toll on employees and planned projects.

Bipolar disorder: Record cruise crowds bring riches, but also complaints of intrusive behavior toward kids, cabin dwellers, wildlife

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An “invasion” of cabins and a kindergarten. Attacking birds and petting reindeer. Treating everywhere outdoors as a port-a-potty and digging up wild plants to take home.

The increasing intensity and frequency of such complaints about cruise ship passengers – especially when larger ships can mean up to 8,000 extra people in a 2,000-person town – aren’t just local vs. visitor feuds. Often they’re pitting local against local, with the pro-cruise folks arguing the complaints are about a relative handful of visitors, but can result in a generally negative attitude toward all of them.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 12, 2016

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Private companies question Store Norske’s tourism plans
Store Norske’s plans to develop Svea as a tourist destination in cooperation with Spitsbergen Travel are raising concerns among other local tourism companies and officials, who say the government-owned company should not be allowed to offer subsidized activities that compete with private companies.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 7, 2016

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Svalbard finally an official ‘sustainable destination’
After many years, Svalbard has finally been officially classified as a “sustainable destination” by Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.