Faroe Islands Launches Sustainable Tourism Plan
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.”
The new sustainable tourism development strategy is shaped by four key cornerstones:
# 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.
To learn more about the Faroe Islands, visit www.visitfaroeislands.com.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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