Mayor: new tourism plan will hurt local operators

07.08.2018 - 14:35
Mayor: new tourism plan will hurt local operators
The removal of state subsidies for tourist information centres will make it hard for small operators to compete, says mayor of Vágur Municipality
Dennis Holm, Mayor of Vágur Municipality, Suðuroy

From 1 January 2019, local tourist information centres will have to apply for funding rather than receive state subsidies as they currently do.

This is an unfortunate change, argues Dennis Holm, the mayor of Vágur Municipality in Suðuroy, who believes the new system will pull the rug out from under the local service providers in the tourism industry.

For many years, state subsidies paid to Suðuroy’s tourist information centres have been pooled into a common fund, Suðuroyðar Ferðavinnufelag (Suðuroy Tourism Association), together with subsidies from the local councils on the island. This has enabled small operators in the tourism industry to apply for funding from this common fund to help finance their services.

With the removal of the state subsidies, however, these applications will now be sent to Tórshavn for processing, and that could easily end up with the small local service providers being overshadowed by the big ones, says Holm.

The mayor is pleased to see that the development of local tourism services is receiving political attention, but he insists that more financing is needed for any positive change to occur.

He believes that far too much emphasis is placed on branding the Faroes internationally as a tourism destination, rather than using the resources on developing local tourism services.

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