The downturn continued for hotels


The downward trend for accommodation establishments in Norway continued in February. Guest nights at hotels fell by 65 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Figures from the accommodation statistics show that there were approximately 0.9 million guest nights at commercial accommodation establishments in February this year. This is 1.3 million fewer guest nights than in February last year. Norwegian guest nights declined by 47 per cent, while foreign guest nights declined by 86 per cent. Guest nights at camping sites and holiday dwellings and youth hostels fell by 6,6 and 40 per cent respectively.

Norway’s travel restrictions were tightened further in February, restricting both travels into the country and between municipalities. Most travellers into Norway were required to quarantine for 10 days, with regulations on the use of quarantine hotels upon entry. See the government webpage for more information.

Figure 1. Guest nights, by type. Change in per cent compared to the same month the year before

June 2019 July 2019 Aug. 2019 Sep. 2019 Oct. 2019 Nov. 2019 Dec. 2019 Jan. 2020 Feb. 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 Aug. 2020 Sep. 2020 Oct. 2020 Nov. 2020 Dec. 2020 Jan. 2021 Feb. 2021
Hotels 4.46 6.02 5.58 5.14 9.74 7.50 10.20 8.88 11.68 -57.02 -86.55 -77.60 -55.96 -8.95 -41.14 -42.28 -37.81 -61.77 -54.60 -64.16 -64.60
Camping sites -1.05 3.88 5.75 0.82 5.50 -0.42 15.76 12.35 10.87 -40.65 -73.45 -7.59 -19.65 4.70 -4.62 -6.45 4.06 -13.87 -8.53 -6.81 -6.58
Holiday dwellings and youth hostels -2.25 -1.50 0.97 1.31 10.31 9.12 13.29 11.24 25.80 -43.54 -81.10 -63.85 -53.98 -6.59 -27.80 -6.52 -6.21 -4.15 -21.64 -39.69 -39.78

Many empty hotel rooms

Only one out of four hotel rooms were occupied during the month of February. In the last 30 years, the utilization rate of hotel rooms has been stable in the month of February, around 50 per cent.

The revenue for hotels in February declined by 65 per cent, around the same as guest nights in hotels. The price per room remained around the same, with only a small decline from last February. Prices in Oslo and Troms and Finnmark declined significantly, while prices in Møre og Romsdal increased.

Biggest decline in cities and winter destinations

Of the 67 tourism regions Oslo, Bergensregion, Stavangerregion and Hallingdal accounted for almost 28 per cent of all guest nights at hotels in February this year.

The decline in Norwegian guest nights was largest in the largest cities in Norway and at Romerike, while foreign guest nights dropped most in winter destinations such as Valdres, Lillehammer-region, Hallingdal, and Norefjellsregion.

Eurostat has an overview of important short term indicators and their development during the pandemic.

Quarantine hotels

In order to limit import infection, the Government introduced a quarantine hotel scheme on 5 November 2020. Guidelines have changed several times, the latest 17th of March. All persons arriving in Norway had to undergo a 10-day quarantine. For more information, see the governments’ webpage.

It was not possible to extract all quarantine guest nights. Guest nights spent at quarantine hotels are therefore partially included in the accommodation statistics for February. Hotels exclusively used as quarantine hotels were not included in the statistics for this month. Guests under quarantine cannot freely move outside designated areas and cannot, therefore, be assigned by purpose as holiday, occupation or course, conference.  This is in line with other European countries’ treatment of such hotels.