Tourism is the third largest industry on the Faroe Islands and makes up for 14 % of the islands’ total number of jobs.
Like the rest of the world, the Faroese tourism industry was severely affected when all travel and tourism activities shut down in March due to the corona pandemic.
Greatly disappointed, Visit Faroe Islands had to ask guests to postpone their planned trips to the islands during the high-season indefinitely.
Describe the strategy
So how could we save the Faroese tourism industry, while giving people the chance to experience the Faroe Islands without being there in person?
Besides consolidating the tourists who had been forced to cancel their planned and payed trips to the Faroe Islands, we wanted to give everyone else around the world a taste of the Faroe Islands in hopes that it may inspire them to visit the islands in the future.
But with a 0 $ media budget, we needed the remote tourism platform to catch the attention of major news media and travel influencers on social media.
Describe the execution
We invented Remote Tourism. The world’s first remote-controlled tourism experience. The concept enabled tourists to experience the Faroe Islands via a local guide, controlled via a joypad on mobile, tablet or PC on remote-tourism.com.
Just like an arcade game, tourists could make the guides jump, run and maneuver. That way, the tourists could experience the Faroese nature in real time through a local guide.
The guided tours took place several times a day during the lockdown and went by feet or boat, on horseback or mountain bikes and even from a helicopter, also controlled by the user via joypad.
Everyone else could follow the tour live on Facebook and chat with Visit Faroe Islands.
The campaign was launched with one press release, one film and invitations to major news media and travel influencers to join the first tours to the Faroe Islands.
List the results
Within 24 hours of its launch, the Faroe Islands had more virtual visits than usual physical visits in a whole year.
The average view time was 4.11 minutes which is 2500 % higher than Facebook’s tourism video benchmark.
On average, more than 20,000 people viewed each trip. 1,88 % commented, shared or liked, which is 1600 % above Facebook’s benchmark.
By week 21, remote tourism became the biggest tourism news story in the world with 549 news articles and an online readership of more than 5 billion people.
Through influencers, the story reached 40,3 million people on social media.
In just six weeks, 700,000 people ‘visited’ the Faroe Islands and two weeks after the reopening of the islands, all hotels were sold out.
This way, we managed to save some of the threatened jobs and give millions of people a travel experience from the comfort of their home quarantine.