NEW YORK, April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Homebound travellers dreaming of the far reaches of the world can, for the first time, remotely explore one of the most beautiful and pristine places on the planet - the Faroe Islands - with an innovative new travel tool that brings the destination to life from the comfort of one's home.
The virtual visit was created as an escape for those whose plans to visit the Faroe Islands have been temporarily put on hold due to current travel restrictions and for those looking ahead for future inspiration. With a population of just 50,000 across the Faroes' 18 islands, the remote tour offers armchair travellers a chance to visit distant lands and to walk outdoors, discovering pristine landscapes, wild seascapes and the occasional Faroese sheep. Virtual travellers can also explore key landmarks and the capital city of Tórshavn.
Located in the North Atlantic, halfway between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands is welcoming virtual travellers from around the globe via mobile devices, tablets and PCs. The new site will allow virtual visitors to explore the Faroes' rugged mountains and see its cascading waterfalls and traditional grass-roofed houses close-up by interacting - live - with a local Faroese, who will act as their eyes, ears and body on a virtual exploratory tour of the destination.
The Faroese locals will be equipped with a live video camera, allowing virtual visitors not only to see the views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also control where and how they explore, by using their computer or phone keypad to turn, walk, run and even jump. Just like a real-life computer game, the main player will control the moves of the Faroese islander/s, who will not only explore locations on foot, but also take to the skies by helicopter giving the virtual visitors a bird's eye perspective on this beautiful island nation's steep grassy slopes, its 80,000 sheep and its unspoilt, wild and natural countryside.
During the virtual tours, which start on Wednesday 15 April and run once or twice daily (9 EST and Noon EST) for about 10 days, (livestreamed on Visit Faroe Islands' Facebook and Instagram pages), the Visit Faroe Islands tourist board team will be online in real time to answer any questions that participants may have, providing both inspiration and expert knowledge about places to visit and things to see once the islands have reopened to visitors.
Guðrið Højgaard, Director of Visit Faroe Islands, says that the nation is proud to welcome virtual tourists to its remote North Atlantic location. "When the travel bans began to escalate, we sat and wondered how we could recreate a Faroe Islands' experience for those who had to cancel or postpone their trip to the Faroe Islands, and for everyone else stuck at home. The result is this new platform that enables those in isolation to take a walk across our wild landscapes and to explore beyond their own four walls.
"We believe that our remote islands are the perfect place to inspire people in lockdown – and, naturally, we hope to welcome them in person once everyone is free to travel again."
The launch of the virtual tourism idea is the latest in a series of innovative initiatives by the Faroe Islands' tourist board to share their remote homeland with the world, following the success of Google Sheep View (which saw sheep mapping the islands for Google Street View) and Faroe Islands Translate (which had local people translating, in real time, phrases requested from around the world into Faroese).
The Faroes' Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism project, which saw the country close to tourists for few days for the first time last year, hosting 100 volunteers who took part in projects to protect the environment and key visitor spots, has been postponed this year due to COVID-19. New dates later in 2020 will be announced as soon as possible.
The Faroe Islands will remain closed to tourists until the end of April at the earliest. Fortunately, the effect of the COVID-19 on the health of locals has been limited. The number of people recovering from the virus currently exceeds the number of people being infected.
To experience the Faroe Islands as a virtual tourist through a local, go to remote-tourism.com. The first public tour will take place on Wednesday 15 April at 9 am EST with a second tour at Noon EST
About the Faroe Islands
- Population: 52,199
- Number of sheep: 80,000
- Number of islands: 18
- Total area: 1,399 km2
- Estimated number of overseas visitors: 130,000 in 2019
Coronavirus in the Faroe Islands - Click here for the latest information on the Coronavirus situation.
SOURCE Visit Faroe Islands