Destination & Tourism
Norway Travel Firms React to Extremist’s Attack That Killed 93
Norway on Sunday, July 24, was still assessing the impact of the largest domestic terrorism incident in its history, as travel companies reacted to the attacks in the hours shortly after they happened. Norwegian officials said a right-wing Christian extremist set off a large bomb that killed seven at a government center in Oslo, Norway, on Friday, July 22. Visitors who were in hotels near the bombing said they felt the impact and could see smoke rising from the area. The extremist then proceeded to shoot at least 86 people at a summer camp on a nearby island called Utoya, where hundreds had gathered to meet with government officials.
Only one travel firm appeared to have altered its plans directly due to the attacks. Costa Crociere, which had a ship depart Oslo at 1 p.m. Oslo time on July 22 before the explosion occurred, said decided to change Costa Magica’s scheduled call at Oslo on Saturday, July 23 with a call at Kristiansand. “At this time we can confirm that next week’s scheduled calls for other Costa ships in Norway will be operated as scheduled,” Costa said on July 22. The company added that it will evaluate any additional itinerary modification if required by the circumstances and will promptly inform all guests accordingly.
Tour operators to Norway on July 22 said they were still sorting out the impact the event would have on their tours to the country. Before full details of the attack were known, Agneta Ekebrand, owner of Scantours, worried that the press would inflate the story and inaccurately depict the safety of travel in Oslo. “If we didn’t feel it was safe to travel there, we wouldn’t send anyone there,” said Ekebrand. Kim Toso, a sales assistant at Brekke Tours, a Scandinavian specialist, said that the company had not received any cancellations or phone calls seeking information on travelers. “The clients we have in Norway right now are not in Oslo,” she said.
Hurtigruten, which offers cruises of Norway’s coastal fjords, on July 22 said the situation was still evolving in Oslo, so it was not in a position to really offer specific actions for travelers. “We are following up with our guests who are in Oslo and it is our current understanding that they were not affected, but we are double checking,” Hurtigruten said. “We will be adjusting transportation plans for guests in Oslo and those who have plans to go through Oslo on the way to a Hurtigruten voyage as called for by the situation, always putting the well-being of our guests above all else.”
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