The Norwegian government proposes NOK 25 million to a new, temporary grant scheme for tourism companies in Svalbard.
“The travel industry is the largest industry in Svalbard. The companies have had a rough half year and are now facing the low season. Therefore we are now creating a new, temporary scheme that may contribute to rebuilding, transition and rethinking tourism”, Trade Minister Iselin Nybø says in a press statement.
The grant scheme for Svalbard applies to tourism companies and companies related to the industry. The scheme is part of the overall crisis package for tourism. The actors in Svalbard may also apply to the continued scheme for company development for tourism as well as the new compensation scheme for tourism companies with a major drop in turnover.
The tourism package is part of the Norwegian government’s budget proposal about economic measures related to the virus outbreak, which will be presented on Monday.
Svalbard has until recently been subject to stricter infection control measures than the mainland, and many fear bankruptcies and layoffs in the near future. This may affect not only tourism, but also population figures and stability in the local community.
The purpose of the new grant scheme is to contribute to developing tourism on the archipelago in a way that supports the goals of Norwegian Svalbard policy.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries says it will revert with more information about the details of the new scheme as well as who will govern it.
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.