Monday’s SAS strike is the preliminary last of many obstacles for holiday-hungry Norwegians. It started with pass trouble and then chaos ensued at many European airports due to lack of staff. Now more and more Norwegians have had enough and are changing their holiday plans at the last minute.
– The plan was to travel to Mallorca, but we did not take the chance due to airport chaos. We did not get a passport, but managed to arrange a national ID card. Still, we felt that there were too many uncertainties, says Christian Helgesen.
TV 2 meets him and his family on board the Color Lines Superspeed on the way from Kristiansand to Hirtshals on Tuesday morning. They are on their way to Skagen, which will be the first stop on the holiday trip.
Changed the itinerary
The family changed their travel plans at the last minute, and now it will be a small town holiday with a trip to Fårup summerland.
– Denmark is a good number two when it is so uncertain to travel down in Europe, says Helgesen.
The wife says that the children got a little upset when it was not a trip to the south.
– They were a little sad, but when we told that we could go to Denmark, with water park and many activities, it was fine, says Kathrine Øksnevad Liesland to TV 2.
The Helgesen / Liesland family are not the only ones who are now throwing themselves around and changing their holiday plans. Color Line says they have noticed an increase in ticket sales to both Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
– Just the last 24 hours after the SAS pilots went on strike, the number of requests has multiplied compared to what is normal, says sales and marketing manager Nina Moland Andersen in Color Line.
Some of the travel destinations in North Jutland have experienced an increase of several thousand percent in a few days last week.
– We have experienced an increase of up to 5000 percent in single days. It’s completely wild. This is very fun, and we are happy to welcome more Norwegians. You are our favorite tourists, says Rene Zeeberg, leader of Toppen af Danmark, which rents out both houses and cabins in Skagen.
Zeeberg believes there are several reasons why Norwegians are now flocking to Denmark.
– I think that proximity and safety are important, while you get the holiday feeling when you are here, says the tourism manager.
Dropping the south trip
Tonny Skovsted Thorup is CEO of Destination Nord and has an overview of all the major tourist attractions and accommodation in North Jutland. He confirms that many Norwegians now contact Danish accommodation.
– Yes, we get reports that there are many Norwegians now dropping the trip south and rather coming to Denmark. For us, it is good, because every Norwegian spends around 3000 kroner per day, almost twice as much as the Germans do, says Skovsted Thorup to TV 2.
In a swimming pool at Color Hotel Skagen we meet the Helgesen / Liesland family again. They have been installed at the hotel.
– The children are enjoying themselves and now we can finally shrug our shoulders. Now the holiday will be enjoyed, says Christian Helgesen before one of the children splashes water in his face and laughs out loud.