62N, one of the most experienced participants in the Faroese tourism industry, is active on the outgoing side as a travel agency — as well as on the incoming side as a growing tour operator and ground handler plus a leading car rental agency.
[By B. Tyril]
Backed by more than half a century of experience in the Faroese tourism industry, 620N has long held a key position as a travel agency for outgoing holiday makers and business travelers as well as a tour operator serving those visiting the Faroe Islands. The company, previously known as Flogfelag Føroya, also has a longstanding record as a ground handling agent since the beginning of commercial aviation in the Faroe Islands.
A fourth line of business, more recently introduced, is the company’s car rental service, a successful venture that has had up to 100 cars hired out at the same time.
Holding it all together today is managing owner Heidi Petersen, who acquired the business in 2007, subsequently modifying it by selling off certain assets including Hotel Vagar and freight courier service EUR Transport, to focus on core areas.
“I think we did the right thing by refining our business model,” Ms. Petersen said.
Apparently, the timing was in alignment with a slowly accelerating upturn in the Faroese tourism business, where a series of developments has laid a new platform for growth in recent years.
“I think we have quite a combination of factors,” she added.
“For one thing, the number of professionals working in the industry is about to reach a new level or gain some sort of critical mass. At the same time, the supply of service products has broken through earlier barriers and much more excursions and similar offerings have been made available. Also it’s very important that we have had a major upgrade of the airport and, on top of that, the industry has succeeded in coordinating marketing efforts through the Visit Faroe Islands organization. Add to this the advances we’ve had in the entertainment and hospitality sector, and everyone can see that there is an upward trend for tourism in this country—although we still need much more hotel capacity.”
As a tour operator, 620N offers comprehensive packages for groups and individuals looking to visit the Faroe Islands—from air tickets and accommodation to various sightseeing activities, guided tours, concerts, cultural evens and more.
A growing number of organizations from various countries, meanwhile, are choosing the Faroe Islands as a destination for business events such as conferences, courses and team building activities.
‘Always brand new’
“We receive bookings from businesses, groups and individuals of all stripes,” Ms. Petersen said. “For example, we just had a couple of wealthy Russians who came with their private jet and we helped them with everything from ground handling to domestic transportation, accommodation, adventures at sea, food, you name it. It was a unique experience for them and they were thrilled. More generally, we arrange large and small conferences and special events for businesses and organizations who want to make sure participants experience something new and refreshing.”
Services in the context of incoming cruise tourism is another example of tour operating activities offered by 620N.
“You may have a group of, say 20 or 40 people from Denmark or Germany, or even from further afield, arriving with a cruise ship and having signed up for some excursions and events in different places across the islands. Instead of them having to look for various providers or agents, we serve as a one-stop-shop and make all the necessary arrangements with the various people involved at the local level.”
Exploring the Faroe Islands by car has turned out to be very popular, with many of the islands now interconnected by fixed link and most of the remaining ones reachable by car ferry.
“People like to explore the country by car because it allows them to see all the places they want to at their own pace. Besides, it’s easy to navigate in the Faroes—the road system is excellent and straightforward with clear signage and very few forks. Getting lost is virtually impossible as the country is very small and you’re never really far away from the nearest house. The Faroese people are friendly and helpful, should you need to ask someone for assistance; there would be no worries and you’d feel completely at ease.”
Customers can choose from seven different locations where to pick up their car and likewise where to deliver it.
“We represent several major car rental brands and collaborate with leading car dealers to make sure the cars we rent out are always brand new,” Ms. Petersen said.