Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism

Over 5,500 people from 95 nations apply to be part of the Faroe Islands’ 2020 Maintenance Crew


Within 24 hours of registration opening for the 2020 ‘Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism’ initiative, 5,886 voluntourists signed up to be part of the Maintenance Crew in the Faroe Islands – over 2,000 more people than for the 2019 project.

Once again making headlines all over the world, people from 95 different countries – ranging from Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Taiwan to Russia, Malaysia and all over Europe – put their hands up to take part in helping to preserve our remote nation in the North Atlantic.

With just 100 places available for the 2020 project, the latest round of registrations saw most sign-ups from the USA, with 1,291 volunteers Americans wanting to take part.

Applications came from volunteers as young as 18 through to 77 year olds, and from a diverse range of occupations – from accountants, architects and lawyers through to a horse-riding coach, diplomats and film directors – all with one common goal: to help maintain and preserve the Faroe Islands’ beautiful landscapes and precious natural environment.

Thank you for the new hope and faith in people this experience gave me. I will never forget this. – Zuzana Chromikova, 2019 volunteer from Slovakia

In April 2019, the Faroe Islands saw unprecedented success for its first-ever closed for maintenance, open for voluntourism campaign, which forms part of a wider move by Visit Faroe Islands to pave the way for a sustainable future for the islands and our burgeoning tourism industry.

The Maintenance Crew worked alongside locals to preserve ten locations across the islands, maintaining and creating hiking pathways and viewing areas, and setting up signposting.

For 2020, some 14 popular tourist sites will be closed to the general public on 16 and 17 of April 2020, with projects identified by local municipalities, tourism centres and local villagers. These include Slættaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands, where the last stretch of the hike to the top is currently difficult to climb safely. An alternative route will be signposted and maintained by the voluntourists over the closure weekend. Other projects will include marking paths with wayfinding posts, mending paths that have eroded and re-building cairns.

100 volunteers from 30 countries have chosen at random from the mass of applications. Those who aren’t lucky enough to obtain a place will be able to follow the progress on Visit Faroe Islands’ website and social media accounts. Anyone interested in taking part in 2021’s working days can sign up to be notified by e-mail about when registration will open. This can be done here.

Participants will receive free accommodation, food and transport on the islands over the three-night maintenance period (Wednesday 15, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 April). They will work alongside 40 Faroe Islanders who will also be given the opportunity to take part.


Over 5,500 people from 95 nations apply to be part of the Faroe Islands’ 2020 Maintenance Crew


Within 24 hours of registration opening for the 202...

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