The Falkland Islands Want You To Come Visit
On the bus over to Travel Mart, I met a woman from the Falkland Islands. She told me that she has lived there for more than 20 years, and despite spending time in the UK, she wouldn´t trade living down there for anything. I asked her about the legacy of the war in 1982 that brought the remote islands into the spotlight, albeit before the internet and CNN. I remember hearing about the Exocet missile that sank a British frigate back when I was editing a newspaper in Portland, ME.
Today the island´s economy draws their biggest revenue from selling fishing licenses for squid to Korean and Japanese companies. At a recent conference in Spain, the Argentines convinced their hosts to take down the Falklands flag, and even remove their delegate´s desk. That caused quite a stir in the local Penguin Press, but not in the rest of the world.
I asked her about tourism, which is now the number two industry there. “We have weekly flights, so every visit is for seven days, ” she told me. Though there is a famous animosity between the islands and the nearest landmass, Argentina, she said she counts many Argentine tour operators as valuable clients. She said that many visitors come to see birds, and that there are five species of penguins who live there. ´”We also allow Argentines to come for short visits to see their relatives graves on the islands, but they don´t stay that long,” she said. “Visitors also like to see the battle sites, which are preserved just as they were left in 1982.”