Norwegian’s Stavanger advice welcomed / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian’s Stavanger advice welcomed. As Rogaland tourism officials criticise the carrier’s comments over high prices, a top Stavanger businessperson thinks the airline has a fair point. “I believe Norwegian is guiding us,” Jan Soppeland, Greater Stavanger’s Managing Director tells The Foreigner, “industry in the area has made comments to us about the expensiveness of hotels and restaurants. They are pointing out a vulnerability in what we have to offer.” The airline’s commercial director, Daniel A. Skjeldam, criticised the region, yesterday, for its extreme prices. As a result, Stavanger is not being prioritised as a route for international travel like Bergen, for example.

norwegianaircompany, expensivestavanger



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Norwegian’s Stavanger advice welcomed

Published on Wednesday, 14th March, 2012 at 15:10 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 14th March 2012 at 16:00.

As Rogaland tourism officials criticise the carrier’s comments over high prices, a top Stavanger businessperson thinks the airline has a fair point.

Stavanger
Stavanger
Photo: Markus Tacker/Flickr


More costly than most places

“I believe Norwegian is guiding us,” Jan Soppeland, Greater Stavanger’s Managing Director tells The Foreigner, “industry in the area has made comments to us about the expensiveness of hotels and restaurants. They are pointing out a vulnerability in what we have to offer.”

The airline’s commercial director, Daniel A. Skjeldam, criticised the region, yesterday, for its extreme prices. As a result, Stavanger is not being prioritised as a route for international travel like Bergen, for example.

“There are extremely clear differences between the two cities. You might have to pay 350 kroner for a mediocre meal in Stavanger’s pedestrian area, but Bergen has more and better alternatives. Price-levels in the Stavanger region will generally exclude the European citizen if these are based on oil industry salaries.”

According to Mr Soppeland, “we’re good at medium-plus category hotels, but have few economy and top-class ones. The low-priced alternatives are very important for some businesses, as not everyone has a generous budget.”

“Nevertheless, some firms and wealthy tourists like to see there is a five-star international hotel in town because of the difficulty of choosing where to stay. Stavanger may not be cheaper than other oil capitals, such as Rio de Janeiro and Houston, but it is expensive compared to most places. I don’t go out to eat much because of the high cost of living here,” he declares, saying the lack of choice hinders airlines filling up their weekend flights.

“There is no proof”

Ståle Brandshaug, Managing Director of tourism organisation Region Stavanger, disagrees with Daniel Skjeldam’s censorious remarks “for two very important reasons”, he states. “Stavanger hotel prices may be higher than Bergen or Oslo’s between Tuesday and Thursday, but they are certainly less between Thursday and Monday.”

State number cruncher Statistics Norway (SSB) figures show this year’s average nightly hotel room price for January was 1,047 kroner in Rogaland. Whilst hotel capacity in Stavanger is a problem, certainly mid-week, at least four hotels are to be built with space for between 600 and 800 guests.

“There is also no research that shows restaurant prices are higher here than the other two cities. Mr Skjeldam may have paid 350 kroner for the average-priced meal at Phileas Fogg when he visited here, but you can have a good one for less,” adds Mr Brandshaug.

In an article in Stavanger Aftenblad, he suggests reasonably priced places to go and eat in town are Renaa Express and Ostehuset.

Staff The Foreigner spoke to said a lunch including a sandwich, juice, coffee, and dessert, for example, would cost approximately 300 and 320 kroner, respectively. Meal and bill-sizes are purely a guideline. Putting the two prices together, this would mean travellers could pay an average of 1,357 kroner (approximately GBP 150/USD 236/EUR 181 at today’s ROE), not including dinner or any other expenses.

Region Stavanger’s Ståle Brandshaug says his organisation is now going to talk more with Norwegian “to further our constructive dialogue.”

Meanwhile, Jan Soppeland in Greater Stavanger concludes, “I feel that Norwegian is giving us advice, and hope hotel and other investors listen.”



Published on Wednesday, 14th March, 2012 at 15:10 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 14th March 2012 at 16:00.

This post has the following tags: norwegianaircompany, expensivestavanger.





  
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