Tag Archives: Ronny Strømnes

FAST, THEN FEAST: Svalbardbutikken closing for weekend to move into new expanded space to debut Monday; construction continuing until July – and a local ATM finally returning there

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For those those feeling a bit hungry because Longyearbyen’s only supermarket is closed this weekend, take comfort in knowing there will be noticeably more quick, fresh and other foods after the store reopens in a portion of its vastly expanded space Monday.

(BTW, for those somehow caught totally unaware of the closure despite the fliers posted seemingly every couple of meters inside there, it’s still possible to buy groceries at the Longyearbyen Thai Shop from noon-3 p.m. Saturday and the Mix kiosk until 10 p.m. all weekend.)

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.