‘Voluntourists’ answer call to help spruce up Faroe Islands

Volunteers came from as far away as Australia to help fix and upgrade nature trails.

By Reuters - June 5, 2019

Volunteers from around the world flew to the Faroe Islands in April to spend two days mending tourists trails around the country.

The “Closed for maintenance, open for volunteerism” scheme saw parts of the country closed to tourism as the “voluntourists” — volunteering tourists who came as far as Australia — helped to build cairns and repair walking trails across the North Atlantic archipelago.

Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Aksel V. Johannesen, recorded a video announcing the scheme and urging those interested to sign up.

“During the weekend all sites and attractions will be closed for regular tourists. However we invite volunteers from abroad to lend a helping hand by working side by side with locals,” he said.

One hundred people were selected from thousands of applicants. The volunteers paid for their own flights and were reimbursed for the two days of work with free food and accommodation.