If you want to visit the Faroe Islands in April, you’re going to have to pull your weight.
During the last weekend in April, the Faroe Islands will close all major tourism sites. But there’s a workaround for 100 people.
Although the parks and attractions will remain closed to visitors, 100 people can join the Faroese Maintenance Crew and help clean and maintain the territory’s big attractions.
The territory (an autonomous nation in the kingdom of Denmark) is known for having more sheep than people (80,000 compared to about 51,000). Last year, tourists outnumbered locals as with, with more than 110,000 people visiting the archipelago.
Although the Faroe Islands are not plagued by an over-tourism problem, the tourism authority seeks to ensure that tourism is sustainable and that visitors don’t run down the natural resources for locals, or future generations of visitors.
“For us, tourism is not all about numbers,” Guðrið Højgaard, director of Visit Faroe Islands, said in a statement. “We welcome visitors to the islands each year, but we also have a responsibility to our community and to our beautiful environment, and our aim is to preserve and protect the islands, ensuring sustainable and responsible growth.”
Voluntourists must pay for their flights to and from the Faroe Islands. But by signing up to volunteer, the rest of their travel expenses — accommodation, food, transport and a celebration party at the end of the weekend — are all covered.
The maintenance crew will work alongside locals to build walking paths, erect signs or construct viewpoints. No experience is necessary and the only qualification necessary is enthusasim for the project.
If this year’s maintenance weekend is a success, the islands intend on repeating the event every year.
Spots are likely to fill up quickly. To join the maintenance team, sign up online.