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Mirek Dymitrow


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The role of pro-environmental volunteer tourism in sustainable destination promotion. The case of Faroe Islands


  • Weronika Lis
  • Mirek Dymitrow
  • Elżbieta Grzelak-Kostulska

Summary, in English

he case that constitutes the subject for this paper is a voluntourism project organized in the Faroe Islands that has gained worldwide attention. Unskilled volunteers were called to perform maintenance works while popular hiking trails remained closed for regular tourists. The idea turned into a successful marketing campaign for the Faroe Islands. Our study is anchored in theories on tourism destination image management and consumer behavior. Literature shows that there is a growing number of tourists who make their choices based on the assessed sustainability of a place. This has informed the development of the concept of the destination image, that is, an interpretation of reality within the tourist’s mind, based on rationality and emotionality. It is evidenced that there is a connection between destination image and travelers’ purchases. Planning and implementing certain activities might lead to the creation of a destination image perceived as sustainable by visitors and the improvement of a destination’s competitiveness. Our case adds to studies on local authorities’ influence over the sustainable destination image and its competitiveness. It also provides insights into research on the successful maintenance of supply and demand in tourism. Our findings help update the discussion on what this Faroese model might offer the civil society and tourism industry. Based on data gathered from quantitative and qualitative methods, we discuss the Faroese model of destination image creation (DIC) and sustainability promotion (SP). We argue that engaging tourists in physical work, showing them gratitude and inviting locals to participate: a) emphasizes Faroese values: respecting nature, a small community (DIC); b) instills a perception of the Islands as environmentally friendly (DIC); c) fosters engaged tourists and reflective behaviors (SP). We find that the Faroese model can be adopted by destinations threatened by overtourism that seek ready sustainable tourism solutions.


  • Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi






Konferensbidrag: abstract


  • Human Geography


  • volunteer tourism
  • local community
  • sustainable tourism
  • destination image promotion
  • tourism marketing

Conference name

The International Geographical Union Centennial Congress

Conference date

2022-07-18 - 2022-07-22

Conference place

Paris, France