June 5, 2020 | Visit Faroe Islands
New Remote Tourism tool gives curious tourists that much-needed dose of escapism during lockdown, with 1,000+ joining virtual tours
Since its launch on 15 April, 2020, the Faroe Islands has witnessed an impressive 700,000 people from 197 countries visit its compelling new Remote Tourism tool – and over 1,000 people have had a chance to control a Faroese guide while they have explored the island nation via a live video camera and a remote control.
The curious virtual visitors from around the globe have enjoyed taking ‘control’ of Faroese locals by transforming their phone, tablet or PC into a joypad to request their guide to turn, walk, run and even jump around the islands during the 60-minute tours.
Guðrið Højgaard, Director of Visit Faroe Islands, says: “We have been blown away by the global response to Remote Tourism, which has demonstrated just how much our beautiful and unspoilt environment appeals to a broad range of people from all corners of the world.
“The tool has not only provided that necessary escape for those self-isolating at home, but also a good dose of fun, which so many have been craving. We have loved watching how people haven’t held back when ‘taking control’ –our guides have certainly been put through their paces and kept fit!”
Visit Faroe Islands’ tourist board team has also enjoyed strong engagement via its social channels from people worldwide, who asked questions about places to visit and things to see and do on the islands in real time, via Instagram and Facebook, throughout the tours.
Just like a real-life computer game, players using the Remote Tourism tool were invited to take turns to control the moves of the Faroese islanders for one minute each; locations were explored on foot, on horseback, by boat and, excitingly, also by helicopter, giving virtual visitors a bird’s eye perspective on this beautiful island nation’s steep grassy slopes, its 80,000 sheep, its endless seascapes and its unspoilt, wild and natural countryside.
Remote Tourism launched following the travel restrictions imposed by the Faroese government due to COVID-19 in mid-March. Perfect for those whose plans to visit the Faroe Islands were temporarily put on hold due to travel restrictions – plus those looking ahead for future inspiration – a virtual visit provided the ideal solution for those itching to explore somewhere different and to escape, briefly, the rules of social isolation.
The Faroe Islands will open to visitors from Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Norway and Greenland from 15 June 2020, without the need to self-quarantine.
Fortunately, the effect of the COVID-19 on the health of locals has been limited, with just 187 cases in total reported and no deaths recorded. No new cases have been recorded since 22 April. Nearly 10,000 people (20 percent of the population) in the Faroe Islands have been tested for COVID-19.
To experience the Faroe Islands as a virtual tourist through a local’s eyes, go to remote-tourism.com, with tours continuing once per week, every Wednesday at 6pm (UK time) until 17 June.
For more information on how the Remote Tourism initiative works, see the film here; the password is FaroeRemoteTourism.
The top five countries from which most Remote Tourism website visits have come are: 1 – USA (54,983 visits); 2 – Russia (38,830 visits); 3 – Italy (19,360 visits); 4 – Ukraine (15,597 visits; 5 – UK (12,385 visits).
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