Statistics Norway: Tourism bypasses mining in Svalbard

Dogsledding is an important part of the Svalbard tourist industry. (Foto Nessa Florencio/Flickr)
Tourism has bypassed industry in Svalbard business life. At the same time the level of public allocations shows a threefold increase, according to a recent Statistics Norway report.

Tourism has bypassed industry in Svalbard business life. At the same time the level of public allocations show a threefold increase, according to a Statistics Norway report.

In its recent Svalbard 2016 report, Statistics Norway shows that tourism has passed mining as the leading industrial sector in Svalbard. As of 2013, the annual turnover of the tourist industry in Svalbard has been higher than that of the mining industry.

Tourism: Many employees, but seasonal changes

450 out of the 1,650 FTEs that are carried out by Svalbard's 2,650 inhabitants are employed in tourism and culture. One out of three persons in Svalbard's tourist industry is employed on season contracts, and tourism/culture provides for approximately 40% of the total number of employees on the islands.

Mining: Low prices and fewer employees

The total turnover in the mining industry has been reduced from 3.5 billion NOK in 2008 to only 600 million in 2015. This development is due to both low prices and reduced investments. Today there are about 200 FTEs in the mining industry in Svalbard.

Mine 7 in Adventdalen valley is the only mine still in production, whereas the day-time facilities of Mine 3 have been facilitated to accomodate tourism.

Increased public allocations

In 2008 the public allocations to Svalbard constituted 380 milllion NOK, i.e. only six percent of the total turnover on the islands. In 2015 this amount had increased to 650 million NOK, and its share was now eighteen percent.

The mining industry receives a rather minute portion of this amount, however, a total of 72 percent of research and education costs is funded with public allocations.

No public care services are offered in Svalbard, and the public employees only constitute nine percent of the total amount of employees there.

Read Norwegian article here.