Norwegians with a desire to travel are looking towards the summer...

It will only get colder and colder in Norway in the next few months, and then it is no wonder if some feel the longing for a warmer climate.

For most people, the summer holidays in 2020 were wasted, so that one instead had to focus on the summer of 2021. There are also many who have done in recent weeks, we must believe the travel companies.

– We see that many are on our website and dream away. Even if you can not travel now, there is no doubt that the desire to travel is there, says communications manager Nora Aspengren in TUI.

Apollo Reiser also experiences that many Norwegians want to go south.

– It is difficult to know what will happen in the future, but we see a huge desire to travel. A survey among our customers shows that almost 60 percent will travel abroad as soon as possible, says PR and content manager Beatriz Rivera in Apollo.

Extended travel advice

Due to the corona pandemic, Norwegians are advised not to travel abroad at least until the beginning of next year. At the end of September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended its global travel advice from 1 October to 15 January.

– We are still far from a normal situation and the infection situation is changing rapidly. Therefore, we choose to continue the Global Travel Council, which advises against travel that is not strictly necessary for all countries. We continue to make exceptions for countries in the EEA / Schengen area that have a sufficiently low spread of infection. The exceptions from the travel council are not an invitation to travel abroad, said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide in September.

TUI and Apollo see that Norwegians are hopeful for a better corona situation next year, and that some are already making orders.

– People book trips already from January and into the summer, so there are many who want to go out and travel as soon as possible, says Aspengren.

Apollo says that surprisingly many chose to postpone their 2020 trips to 2021.

The pitfalls if you travel to red lands

– Therefore, we are already ahead of normal sales for the summer of 2021, but it is still early. Recently, we have seen a marked increase in people applying for holidays until next year, says Rivera.

Alarm condition

Normally, Spain is a very popular holiday destination for Norwegians. However, Spain is not the favorite of those who are now booking holidays for the summer of 2021. It is probably related to the contagion situation in the country.

On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared a national state of emergency in the country, which will last until May 2021 if approved by the National Assembly. This means, among other things, a curfew from 11 pm to 6 am throughout the country except the Canary Islands.

The alarm condition allows the regions to have the authority to restrict travel in and out and extend the curfew if necessary.

On Wednesday, Spain became the first country in Europe to register more than one million corona infections, and almost 35,000 people have died from the virus so far. Sánchez said earlier this week that the real number is probably three million infected, writes NTB.

Spain was almost completely shut down from March 15 to June 21, a measure that was one of the strictest in Europe. Sánchez says he wants to avoid such a severe closure again at all costs.

The favorite

While few dare to book trips to Spain for next year’s summer holiday, the travel companies say that it is one country that really stands out as Norwegians’ favorite.

Head of Communications at TUI, Nora Aspengren.

Head of Communications at TUI, Nora Aspengren. Photo: TUI

– Greece is clearly the most popular, Greece is also usually a popular country, but now it stands out especially in relation to other destinations, says Aspengren.

The latest figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control show that Spain has 394 infected per 100,000 inhabitants. In comparison, Greece has less than 79 infected per 100,000 inhabitants.

– Greece has been good at controlling the infection and has remained stable. Several traveled there this summer and experienced that things worked. We see that Greece stands out as a popular destination among people all over Europe, says Aspengren.

She says that most adults choose to book a summer holiday for 2021 now, while families with children are more hesitant.

– Of course we are not up to the normal sales level, but there is a steady pressure. There is no doubt that many people are on the website and dream of places like the Maldives, says Aspengren.

People choose safe destinations

Apollo also sees that Greece is unusually popular compared to other countries.

– It is first and foremost the people of Greece want to. They see that Greek authorities have been good at dealing with the coronavirus compared to other countries. A lot of it is probably also about the fact that many people want to choose safe destinations where they know that it is a good arrangement, Rivera says.

PR and information manager at Apollo Reiser, Beatriz Rivera

PR and information manager at Apollo Reiser, Beatriz Rivera Photo: Apollo

She emphasizes that the numbers are low compared to what is usual, but also points out that it is a long time until the summer of 2021.

– We probably do not think it will be the same sales boom that we usually have in space Christmas, because many will probably wait and see how things develop. It is understandable that people are waiting, but at the same time we see a huge desire to travel, says Rivera.

TUI and Apollo hope it will soon be possible to travel again.

– It is completely dependent on the development further, and we will probably have to get closer to the summer to know more about how it will be. The next few months will be important, says Aspengren.

– It is of course completely impossible to know both for us and the customers. But we are positive and hope things look better in the summer, Rivera says.

Many will travel at the “green light”

The airlines are still in a very difficult situation due to the travel restrictions. Figures from Finn Reise show that it is almost exclusively domestic travel that is booked now.

Commercial director of Finn Reise, Terje Berge.

Commercial director of Finn Reise, Terje Berge. Photo: Caroline Roka / Finn

– We see some flight bookings to Istanbul, London, Bangkok, Alicante and Gran Canaria, but there is in practice a full stop of bookings abroad. There are domestic trips that keep the flight bookings alive, says commercial director Terje Berge in Finn Reise.

He says there are few who believe in traveling abroad this winter, but that there are many who will travel next summer if there is a “green light”.

– Everything depends on external factors such as the travel advice and whether there is a vaccine. When these factors are in place, it will be exciting to see if there is a great pent-up need to travel again, says Berge.

Finn Reise also experiences that many Norwegians are on the website to check out various trips, at the same time as they wait with the actual bookings.

– This may change, as the industry has set up very liberal cancellation rules and that any cancellations must be refunded quickly, says Berge.

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