What was once a lesser known destination in the Scandanavian part of the world, has now become a bucket list favourite, Europe’s best kept secret and one of the most widely cited destinations within the DMO space.
Its striking coastline and rich landscapes decorated with colourful houses and grass covered roofs have gained global awareness over recent years, driven by highly sophisticated marketing campaigns which have successfully brought the Faroe Islands to the fore and established tourism as the third largest industry in the economy.
Compared to its biggest competitors, the Faroe Islands is still fairly undiscovered, however, in destination, tourism has grown 10% every year since 2013. With this growth comes a huge responsibility, of which Visit Faroe Islands recognised from the very start as sustainable development has always been front and centre of its long term marketing strategy and brand values.
In 2012, Visit Faroe Islands was established when the Government increased global marketing funds for a destination tourist board, followed by the launch of a new tourism strategy in 2013. The aim of this strategy was to sustainably develop tourism into a key industry for the Faroese economy, with consideration for the people, environment and economy at the centre. In 2019, this vision continues towards 2025 with its new strategy, Join the Preservolution.
“Growth is only a good thing if it happens sustainably”
Join the Preservolution
Visit Faroe Islands has repositioned tourism within the destination as a responsibility rather than an opportunity. The new sustainable tourism development strategy underpins the ultimate goal of working collectively to shape an entire industry based on these core values to develop tourism in order to preserve the country and live up to these brand values.
The strategy is shaped by 4 key cornerstones;
#1 Quality over quantity
#2 Tourism for all of the Faroe Islands, all year round
#3 Knowledge and professionalistion
#4 A common legislative framework
This is a fantastic example of how a destination has been managing tourism responsibly from the get-go and today, its challenge is no longer ‘awareness’, it’s ‘managing awareness’, and doing that with a sustainable focus. Some key initiatives include; optimising tourist infrastructure, implementing certification programmes and crafting new marketing initiatives to spread visitors around the whole destination, year-round.
A shift from marketing to management combines a strong focus on both development and marketing. Marketing campaigns are so cleverly designed to both capture interest and promote the destination’s unique offer, whilst at the same time, promoting responsible tourism by educating visitors on why the Faroe Islands are so unique and the pressing need to preserve this.
Closed for Maintenance was a pilot project launched earlier this year that saw the temporary closure of ten popular tourist sites in the Faroe Islands. 100 volunteers joined forces with locals to undertake key maintenance projects identified by local municipalities, tourism centres and villagers around the destination. Other great campaigns include Faroe Islands Translate and Sheep View 360°.
We are proud to say that Visit Faroe Islands were the inaugural hosts of #DTTTCampus. Back in 2016, we sent more than a hundred destination marketers to the Faroe Islands - the perfect canvas for inspiration, discovery and learning. One of the workshops being the 360° video workshop run by Google, and this (we presume) sparked some pretty ingenious creative thinking amongst the team at their homely HQ in the tranquil fishing harbour of Torshavn, and where Sheep View 360° was born.
Three years later, we are excited to welcome back Visit Faroe Islands to #DTTTGlobal, where Levi Hanssen & Jóhan Pauli Helgason will be joining us to talk about the challenge of how to develop tourism whilst preserving a fragile destination at the same time, with interesting insights into the Join the Preservolution strategy. We can’t wait to have them back!
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