March 27, 2019 | Visit Faroe Islands
Visit Faroe Islands, the tourist board representing the 18 remote and rugged islands in the North Atlantic, together with the destination’s population of 50,000 people, is rolling out a new tourism strategy. Designed to preserve the nation’s distinct nature and culture while tourism evolves, it aims to help the islands’ still-young tourism industry to grow in a responsible and sustainable manner while heading into the next decade.
Termed by Visit Faroe Islands as a Preservolution (Preserv-o-lution), this new take on tourism is planned to be a long-term and sustainable solution to any potential overtourism problems, with preservation and evolution firmly at its core.
Guðrið Højgaard, Director at Visit Faroe Islands, says: “This is a unique opportunity to shape an entire industry from the get-go, with the needs, desires and lifestyle of the Faroese people firmly at its focal point. We see this mission as our utmost responsibility, both for the benefit of those living on the islands now and for the generations to come – and our work needs to start now.”
# 1 – Quality over quantity
Key initiatives include limiting the size and number of cruise ships allowed ashore in the Faroe Islands and taking measures to attract tourists with a strong sense of community and culture, who are keen to ensure that tourism pays better dividends to society.
# 2 – Tourism for all 18 of the Faroe Islands, year-round
Key initiatives include supporting the nation’s smaller islands and enabling as many Faroese in as many different locations as possible to benefit from tourism year-round, thus preventing future visitor pressure points in key locations. This will help ensure job stability and will strengthen the industry’s economic durability.
# 3 – Knowledge and professionalism
Key initiatives include helping to prepare Faroese people working in tourism for their role as hosts and ambassadors for the islands, ensuring that the Faroes remain competitive in relation to international brands and businesses while always keeping important long-term sustainability goals firmly in mind.
# 4 – A common legislative framework
Key initiatives will include the introduction of a Nature Preservation Fee (this will be a modest amount, but is yet to be agreed) which all visitors to the islands will be asked to pay. This will fund a National Nature Preservation Foundation which will reinvest the money in sustainable and nature-preserving projects and activities across the islands.
Read the Join the Preservolution strategy and watch an accompanying short film at www.preservolution.com.
Visit Faroe Islands’ new sustainable tourism development strategy, outlined above, is part of the restructuring of the organisation from Destination Marketing Organisation to Destination Management Organisation. One of the organisation’s first initiatives, combining development and marketing, was launched last month (February), when the Faroe Islands called upon the world to help it to maintain its treasured tourist trails.
Announcing that 10 of the most popular visitor sites on the islands would be closed to tourists for a weekend in April, this initiative encouraged a modest number of people to apply to visit to help with voluntary maintenance projects at various popular visitor sites.
With just 100 places available, thousands of volunteers from all over the world signed up to be part of the Faroes’ Maintenance Crew. This far exceeded the anticipated number and, in just 24 hours, the “Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism” announcement had made headlines all over the world and over 1,000 people had applied. A total of 3,500 people applied within the first four days.
The Faroes’ Maintenance Crew (with 100 participants from 25 countries worldwide) will be working side-by-side with local volunteers to preserve ten popular visitor locations across the islands, maintaining and creating hiking pathways and viewing areas, and setting up signposting. The aim is to preserve the country’s nature and its birdlife sanctuaries and to make the locations both accessible and sustainable. The overseas participants will enjoy local hospitality during the project in thanks for their help.
The aim is to repeat and expand upon this idea each year if it works well. The Faroese hope that their new project may inspire other countries to follow suit, and to set up their own Maintenance Crews, thereby encouraging tourists to help in whatever way is needed to deal with the particular problem/s affecting other destinations.
While applications for the 2019 Faroe Islands’ Maintenance Weekend are now closed, a report about how the projects progressed will be available in early May, and the results of the work will be both seen and enjoyed by future visitors to the islands for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about the Faroe Islands, visit www.visitfaroeislands.com.
Press: Issued on behalf of Visit Faroe Islands (www.visitfaroeislands.com) by Travel PR, +44 (0)20 8891 4440, contact Jackie Franklin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kate Chapman (email@example.com) or Sue Ockwell (firstname.lastname@example.org).