Faroe Islands screenshot

Faroe Islands to be 'closed for maintenance' in Spring

The Faroe Islands will be closed for tourists for one weekend in spring to work towards sustainability.  

The group of volcanic islands in the North Atlantic, halfway between Iceland and Norway, welcome around 100,000 visitors each year, attracted by the country’s beautiful scenery, sea caves, waterfalls and birdlife, while its own population of Faroese people is just 50,000.

The islands currently have no over-tourism problems, however, the fragile natural environment in a few popular tourist locations has felt the effects of an increase in visitors. These areas need a helping hand to ensure they remain pristine; sustainability is the goal. The destination’s idea is, quite simply, to close for maintenance and open for voluntourism over the weekend of April 26 to April 28 – and to repeat and expand on this idea each year if it works well.

The Faroese have announced that only those prepared to work with locals over the maintenance weekend will be able to visit. There will be a raft of projects led by local people, aimed at delivering a touch of TLC to the Faroese countryside and to ready it for visitors in 2019.

Just 100 visitors will be able to sign up to join the Faroese Maintenance Crew. In return for their services to the country, they will be gifted both accommodation and food over the three-night maintenance period by the Faroese. Maintenance Crew visitors can also choose to extend their trip to the Faroe Islands should they wish to do so.

Projects will include creating walking paths in well-trodden areas, constructing viewpoints that help preserve nature and protect birdlife sanctuaries and erecting signs that help with wayfinding. Projects will be of various difficulty levels, meaning volunteers do not need to be highly skilled. A willingness to assist is the only criterion.

Guðrið Højgaard, director of Visit Faroe Islands, says, “We are delighted that more and more people are discovering how special our islands are - our scenery, our unique way of life, our food and our people. You can find peace and quiet wherever you go, even in our lively capital city, Tórshavn.”

She continues: “For us, tourism is not all about numbers. We welcome visitors to the islands each year, but we also have a responsibility to our community and to our beautiful environment, and our aim is to preserve and protect the islands, ensuring sustainable and responsible growth.”

To watch the campaign film, visit https://vimeo.com/317464068/de987a1d75.

Please visit www.preservefaroeislands.com to find out more.


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