Camera-wearing locals will respond to sight-seeing commands from people at home, allowing virtual tourists to control their own route
Spotted: Going a bit stir crazy from the lockdown? Missing your travel fix? The Faroe Islands, a Denmark territory, have come up with a way to allow people around the world to go on a self-guided tour of the archipelago. Camera-wearing locals will respond to sight-seeing commands from people at home, allowing virtual tourists to control their own route.
Virtual visitors control their tour guide using a free app and have two minutes of control over the guide, who also provides a commentary. After their two minutes are up it is someone else’s turn, although virtual tourists can rejoin the queue for another two minutes any number of times. The tours are available for an hour twice each day, at 2 pm and 5 pm (BST). Guides may be in kayaks, on horseback or hiking around the mountain villages.
The remote North Atlantic islands depend heavily on tourism to augment traditional trades such as fishing and sheep-herding, and this year the Faroe Islands had planned to ramp up tourism with two new 200-room hotels in the capital, Tórshavn. Although the coronavirus pandemic has ended that ambition for this year, the Faroese hope the virtual tourism app will encourage people to come to visit in the future.
According to Visit Faroe Islands, the hope is that seeing the islands through a remotely-operated guide will “bring you joy and inspiration during these challenging times – and we, of course, hope to welcome you in person once you are free to travel again.”
As COVID-19 keeps people at home, businesses have had to rely on innovative marketing to get the word out and encourage sales. Some of the creative marketing strategies we have seen recently include a restaurant chain that offers live-streaming with celebrity guests and a hockey league this is finishing its season as an e-sport.