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Photo by L.P. Lorentz / Visit Svalbard
It’s a dramatic, concise and clear page that stands out strikingly in an 82-page report mostly filled with bureaucratic jumble about rewriting Svalbard’s tourism laws, summarizing officially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local tourism in 2020.
The big numbers: a 75 percent cancellation in tours and a 58 percent decrease in guest nights at accommodations. As for the cruise ships that have typically brought tens of thousands of visitors annually? A total of 10 ships carrying an average of 43 passengers managed to visit last year.
The figures, while based in part on the same data as a recent Statistics Norway report about Svalbard’s economy in 2020, are more dismal because they focus exclusively on tourism.