Burðardygg ferðavinna - høvuðsboðskapurin hjá Anniku á Arctic Circle

politikkur12-10-2019 - 14:24 - Jóanis Nielsen

Arctic Circle er í hesum døgum í Reykjavík. Og í dag helt Annika Olsen, borgarstjóri í Tórshavnar kommunu, eina framløgu um burðardygga ferðavinnu fyri gestum á ráðstevuni. Serliga umrøðan av átakinum Closed for Maintenance hjá Visit Faroe Islands vakti ans.


Tórshavnar kommuna arbeiðir miðvíst fyri at fáa fleiri ráðstevnur og tiltøk til Føroya, sum styrkja støðuna hjá ferðavinnuni, segði borgarstjórin millum annað. Hetta verður millum annað gjørt við at geva neyðugu byggiloyvini til umbyggingar og nýggj gistingarhús. Haraftrat hevur Tórshavnar kommuna eisini sett pening av til at fáa ráðstevnur, ítróttartiltøk og annað hendavegin.

Eftir framløguna gjørdi íslendska sjónvarpið, RÚV, samrøðu við Anniku Olsen um burðardygga ferðavinnu og serliga átakið Closed for Maintenance.


Niðanfyri ber til at lesa framløguna, sum Annika Olsen helt.


Most people don’t seem to know that the Faroe Islands exist. This is not that strange. They are not even on most world maps. And if they are, they are marked by two or three small dots hardly visible to the naked eye.
This makes it difficult to imagine the stunning beauty that the Faroe Islands have to offer.
The Faroe Islands are characterised by an incredibly fresh and clean air, a dramatic landscape with steep mountains, deep fjords, green grass and no trees. The villages are small and scattered around 17 out of 18 islands. Most people own their own house, and therefore you will see no big, grey apartment blocks, instead houses are colourful and often grass-roofed.
There are fifty-two thousand people living in the Faroe Islands and they appreciate the fact that you are always less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the ocean.
We have seen significant growth in tourism in the last ten years. Revenue has doubled since 2011.
Tórshavn is one of the oldest capitals in the world. We are 22,000 people living in Tórshavn.
Tórshavn can trace its history all the way back to the Vikings. The town is named after the Norse god of war, Thor, and Tórshavn means Thor’s harbour. The Vikings established their Parliament on the Tinganes peninsula more than 1000 years ago.
Visit Faroe Islands has developed a strategy with a 10% annual growth in the tourism industry. The municipality is pleased with the positive development in tourism. We are aware that it takes considerable work on our part to hijack such growth. I also say this because there are critical voices in the population as tourism is growing. It is important that we manage tourism. That is why the municipality has made a tourism policy with 23 focus areas, which will help to support the positive development, but also ensure that we work to achieve sustainable development in tourism.
We work with the three pillars to support sustainable tourism: the social, the economic and the environmental.
We want tourists to use their money in the local area and we want to involve and engage the local people to take part in the development.
We do so by making development plans for each local area and by hosting inspirational meetings for the locals. Our House of Innovation and our local tourist office offer short courses for entrepreneurs in tourism.
Some communities are more interested in taking part in tourism than others. We must accept that, but it does not change the fact that tourism is there.
We will double the hotel capacity in summer 2020 and this will open new possibilities that we have not seen before. The City of Tórshavn has been positive in the process and has given the building licence necessary to start the construction. Lack of accommodation has held back the growth of tourism. With 800 hotel rooms from summer 2020 we do not have the same challenge, but it also means that there is a large capacity in the winter.
The Municipality of Tórshavn work together with Visit Faroe Islands and Visit Tórshavn to get more MICE tourism to the Faroe Islands. It has been very successful, but we can do even better as MICE is good in terms of getting a more sustainable tourism. Many MICE events are outside the high season, it gives good money per tourist and there are good opportunities to "manage" tourism for example in relation to where they experience the nature.
We also strive for sustainable tourism in terms of maintaining and taking care of the environment. The municipality does much to make tourists and Faroese stick to the trails as they hike. This is done both by making good paths, maintaining those that are and providing good signage and marking.
Among other things, the municipality participates in the project “Closed for Maintenance”, which is a fantastic project that Visit Faroe Islands launched in the spring this year and which will be held next time in the spring next year. I will now show a film about the project.
Sustainable tourism is very much about having a tourism industry that people can live with and be part of.
There is no doubt that the citizens of Tórshavn and the Faroe Islands have been given many opportunities, which were not here if there was no tourism. We have cheaper travel options and many flights and a good ferry connection. We have high quality restaurants, even one with 2 Michelin stars. We find that young Faroese who have studied abroad come back sooner. It has become cool to live here in our unbelievable country that a growing number of people have on their to-do list.
And then tourism has a significant role in the Faroese economy. But there is still a great deal of work to be done to get this message out to the population and to make tourism a priority in a high-income society where the biggest challenge is a lack of manpower.
As the Faroe Islands' largest municipality, it is important that we, together with Visit Faroe Islands, can be at the forefront of achieving a good balance of development, so that we get a tourism that we as citizens can be proud of, live with, of and in. And so that we can maintain our slogan: “unspoiled, unexplored and unbelievable”.