After being on strike for nine days, the harbor pilot boat crew has now called off the strike.
For Northern Norway, this has had few consequences, but we have the greatest sympathy with our cruise friends in the south who have had to cancel a number of calls. For Norway, this will result in loss of reputation, but hopefully not as much as feared. This is a recent press release from the European Cruise Council:
European Cruise Council, representing the leading cruise companies operating in Europe, has today expressed concern at the negative impact the current industrial action is having on cruise operations and communities in Norway.
The ECC says that the effect of the industrial action is being felt immediately in loss of revenues to the ports and communities that cruise ships visit both in terms of loss of services and of passenger spending ashore.
The ECC warns that due to the seasonality of cruise business in Norway, any interruption to service in the summer period will have the worst possible economic impact, especially in respect of more remote coastal communities. Aside from the immediate economic impacts of industrial action, there also longer term negative consequences for the future of cruise tourism in Norway.
ECC Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio said:
“If the ongoing disruption to our operating practices continues, then the attractiveness of Norway as a cruise destination will be eroded.”
He added: “Unless there is stability in a country it becomes difficult to include affected destinations in itinerary planning.”
The ECC acknowledges the industrial action is not aimed at the cruise industry but is keen to work with the Norwegian Government to identify and implement any possible measures that can be taken to minimise the impact of this and any future strikes. Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio concluded:
“If such ameliorative measures can be quickly put in place I am positive that confidence in Norway as a destination for cruise tourism will be maintained and that there will be future growth to the benefit of all concerned.“