According to official figures from the Faroe Islands airport, visits to the Faroe Islands have increased by 13% so far in 2019, and the growth is set to accelerate next year with the arrival of an international hotel chain and Faroese scenery is expected to feature in the upcoming James Bond movie.
Tourism is the second largest industry in the Faroe Islands after the seafood industry and on track to meet Visit Faroe Islands’ official target of tourism generating 1.5bn DKK by 2025.
The largest marketplace for independent Faroe Islands tours and activities, Guide to Faroe Islands, also reports strong growth in 2019. “This year alone, Guide to Faroe Islands saw the arrival of over 20 new independent local tour operators and the local tours and activities on offer on the site grew from 100 in 2018 to 150 in 2019” says Høgni Sigrunarson Reistrup, founder and CEO of Guide to Faroe Islands.
“It’s evident that the Faroe Islands have become a more accessible destination over the last couple of years with a better organised local tourism and more to offer visitors. The main challenge now is maintaining tourism at sustainable levels and avoiding over-tourism in the most popular spots, says Høgni Sigrunarson Reistrup, who founded Guide to Faroe Islands two years ago with a vision to promote sustainable and well-organised tourism in the Faroe Islands that benefits people throughout the whole country.
The James Bond effect
The new James Bond movie “No Time to Die” is set to include Faroese scenery from the spectacular Kalsoy island, one of the most photographed and visited sites in the Faroe Islands. The film will premiere in April 2020.
If the film sparks a growing interest in the Faroe Islands, the local hotel industry will be ready to welcome them. There are currently three major hotel projects ongoing in the Faroe Islands. Local airline Atlantic Airways is building a brand new 4-star Hilton Garden Inn, the first hotel chain to set their eyes on the Faroe Islands, and local ferry operator Smyril Line is building the 4-star Hotel Brandan with 124 rooms and high green environmental standards.
Closed for Maintenance
Despite strong growth, the Faroe Islands tourism sector is determined to steer clear of overtourism in the Faroe Islands.
During the 16-17 April 2020, most major tourist attractions in the Faroe Islands will be closed for regular visitors and only open to volunteers - or voluntourists - who wish to help maintain them and promote a future of sustainable tourism in the Faroe Islands. The initiative is led by Visit Faroe Islands and is part of a greater effort to preserve the Faroe Islands as one of the most unspoiled and unpolluted places on the planet.
Image Credit: © Dominic Reardon