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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.

The highest density of visitors is expected this weekend, according to Svalbardposten, which first reported the figures. Next week an average of 216 overnight guests is forecast.

The weekly figures have risen dramatically and rapidly – if not consistently – since late January when there were barely more than 50 average overnight visitors. While the end of the dark season at about that time typically coincides with a rapid rise in tourism, a mandatory COVID-19 test for all people traveling to Svalbard imposed by the government at the end of January resulted in a wave of cancellations during the early part of February.

The increasing visitors totals come on a day when Svalbard’s tourism industry is hoping for another major boost in the form of a 40-million-kroner emergency aid package for companies hurt by the pandemic scheduled to be considered by Parliament after the Finance Committee unanimously endorsed it late last week.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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