Tourism

Faroe Islands emerge from pandemic, still immune to obscurity

Skift take

The Faroe Islands’ creative marketing campaigns continue to pay dividends, but high publicity for animal cruelty could undermine them.

Davit Habtemariam

Before the pandemic, the Faroe Islands were a favorite in the tourism industry, a place marked on the tourism map with smart and creative marketing appealing to travelers looking for an extraordinary holiday before Covid made it a trend.

Does this mean the travel ban has robbed the archipelago, located in the North Atlantic roughly between Iceland, Norway and Scotland, of momentum?

Not at all. According to Gudrid Hoygaard, CEO of Visit Faroe Islands, the Faroe Islands could see a record number of visits in 2022. “This year we will set a record number compared to 2019, which was our previous record year,” she said.

The islands are seeing a faster recovery than other destinations. “In general, our business did not return by 2019. [levels]but the Faroe Islands are back in 2019 [levels]even a little more,” said Responsible Travel CEO Justin Francis. “The Faroe Islands are indeed the destination we are approaching in 2019 and this is very unusual for us.”

Active marketing still pays off. Francis said clients come to Responsible Travel knowing about the little-known archipelago. “We’re talking to clients about the Faroe Islands, which hasn’t happened before,” Francis said. “They refer in general terms to the fact that they found it and heard about it.” The responsible CEO attributes the growth to the archipelago’s growing social media and press presence.

One of the marketing initiatives that put the autonomous territory of Denmark at stake was the “Closed for maintenance” initiative. As part of this initiative, 100 applicants have been selected to carry out maintenance work on some of the popular tourist destinations on the islands.

Since its first launch in 2019, Closed for Maintenance has become an annual event and continues to be popular. In the first year, the total number of applications was 3,500, Hoygaard said, rising to 10,000 in 2020 and 14,000 in 2021. Visiting the Faroe Islands had to close the 2020 edition and restrict access to 2021 to residents only.

Closed for maintenance also continues to attract media attention. “It continues to generate media interest,” Hoygaard said. “Every time we launch these projects, everyone is interested in what we do.”

While “Closed for Maintenance” was limited, the visitor to the Faroe Islands had to come up with a creative new campaign to stay relevant. “We are a very small place,” Hoygaard said. “We could easily be forgotten among bigger competitors and travel boards with much more money.”

Visit the Faroe Islands with a remote tour on your website. “We knew that all of our potential clients were stuck at home with their laptops,” said Hoygaard. “We decided to give them an experience and a sense of freedom despite…

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