As worldwide travel grows and lesser-known destinations skyrocket to the top of every bucket list, the effects of tourism become clearer and clearer. Visitors flocking in large numbers can create quite the array of problems: their repeated touches and footsteps erode, their trash builds up faster than it can be disposed of, and their resources are so heavily demanded that their system struggles to keep up.
While some places have had ages of time and experience teach them what to expect from tourism and how to handle it, other places are learning the hard way. But as one of those ‘other places,’ the Faroe Islands are wasting no time in putting tourism on hold to actively work against any permanent damage to their beloved habitat.
That means shutting down tourism for a few days each year.
While the residential population of Denmark’s extra-territory is around 50,000, that figure is doubled each year by annual tourism. And it didn’t take long for residents and businesses to feel those effects. Seeing how heavy tourism has affected other places, they decided it was better to take preventative action first than reparative action later. So, the islands will be closed for two days during the weekend of 16 and 17 April, 2020 – meaning that all of the major attractions will be barred off to visitation while maintenance takes place, although hotels will stay open for people who are already there. In fact, they’ll even invite volunteers to take part in the special restoration projects.
Last year, quite a few tourists were surprised when maintenance was happening during their visit, on which they were expecting to visit many of the places that were closed. But this year, they announced the temporary closure on their national tourism website.
All over the territory, the Faroe Islands citizens will be working on conservation projects. The tourism board has called it “delivering a touch of TLC to the Faroese countryside.”