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Norway blames Trump for Chinese inbound slump

After several years of strong growth, the number of Chinese overnights in Norway is falling significantly.

In the last two to three years, the growth of Chinese tourism in Norway has been strong, enough to make it the third-biggest foreign market for hotels in June after Germany and the United States.

But arrivals are falling. Chinese guests spent 72,500 days in Norway’s hotels in June – a decline of 15.2% compared to the same month last year, Statistics Norway figures reveal. Chinese overnights were down 10% for the first half of the year, the business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports.

Bente Bratland Holm, tourism director at the country’s marketing bureau Innovation Norway, says that the stagnation of Asian markets is not unique to Norway.

“Among others, the Finns saw a 24% decline in June, and there is a decline in all overseas markets including China and Korea, Australia and the United States,” she says.

According to Per Holte, Innovation Norway’s specialist for Asian markets, the trend is primarily due to extreme caution among Chinese consumers due to the new trade war with the US, a weakening of the Chinese currency and uncertainty on the markets.

“Another factor is that combination trips to Russia and Scandinavia are failing due to high prices in Russia as a result of the World Cup,” he thinks.

Better news
Nevertheless, the summer season has been kind to the hotel industry, Bente Bratland Holm stresses.

“The figures for May and June show a 6% growth in the number of Norwegian guest nights. The number of foreign overnights increased by 2%. Much indicates that this will be the fifth summer season in a row with good growth from abroad.”

Of the larger markets, growth is particularly strong from the US, up 20% in June.

“So far, Statistics Norway’s figures show that our forecasts for the summer season are correct,” she adds.

“The wonderful summer weather in eastern Norway also contributed strongly to Norwegians choosing to travel here. […] We note that growth from abroad is still concentrated in Oslo, western Norway and northern Norway, which means that pressure on vulnerable areas continues this year.”

Thanks to fine weather and 8% more Norwegian overnights at hotels in southern Norway, there was an overall rise of 3.6%, according to Statistics Norway.

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