Norwegians went camping in May


The number of guest nights at camping sites increased 11 per cent in May this year compared to May 2019. Guest nights at hotels, however, decreased by 78 per cent.

Figures from the Accommodation statistics shows there were approximately 1 million guest nights at commercial accommodation establishments in May this year, a 62 per cent decrease compared to May 2019.

Measures introduced in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus had dramatic consequences on commercial accommodation establishments. The number of guest nights at hotels in May remained low, even though it was more than double the guest nights in April.

Figure 1. Guest nights, by type of accommodatio, May. 2005-2020

May 2005 May 2006 May 2007 May 2008 May 2009 May 2010 May 2011 May 2012 May 2013 May 2014 May 2015 May 2016 May 2017 May 2018 May 2019 May 2020
Holiday dwellings and youth hostels 62063 79149 95139 102733 111442 109218 113240 126453 162279 194464 193206 190544 194123 177253 163758 59194
Hotels 1139711 1231986 1306199 1389852 1330763 1329930 1488760 1499502 1520977 1658492 1724600 1628099 1767543 1828403 2001404 448246
Camping sites 519932 579977 667353 679126 714752 723767 696352 720031 577920 640364 654669 649027 554997 646371 565410 522481

Larger share for camping sites

The big drop in guest nights at hotels means that half of all guest nights at commercial accommodation establishments in May were at camping sites. Even with figures going back to 1984, the number of guest nights have never been registered higher at camping sites than in hotels in Norway.

Hotels still affected by the corona pandemic

Low activity and many closed accommodation establishments continued across all counties. The most affected counties were Svalbard and Oslo, where the number of guest nights declined by 99 and 87 per cent respectively compared to May last year.

Increased uncertainty for May 2020

Due to closed guest establishments and layoffs, the response rate is lower than usual this month. The response rate for May 2020 was 92 per cent, compared to 98 per cent in May 2019. This causes more uncertainty in the figures. Significant effort has been put into determining whether non-reporting establishments were closed or open. Establishments were treated as open where we did not get a response, with estimated values, leading to increased uncertainty. This approach is in line with recommendations from both Eurostat and OECD.  

It is important that all countries agree on a standard during this pandemic to ensure comparability between countries. This is how we usually treat unreported establishments, but can lead to publishing of numbers that are somewhat higher than in reality.