An island in Finland deems itself the first “phone-free” tourist destination this summer. The island of Ulko-Tammio, which is located off the coast of Hamina, launched a campaign to encourage visitors to take a digital fast to better engage with nature. “We want to urge holidaymakers to switch off their smart devices and to stop and genuinely enjoy the islands,” says Mat Selin, an expert in island tourism at Visit Kotka-Hamina in a release. In addition, there are health associate benefits. “Switching off your phone, exploring nature and meeting people face to face are bound to boost your mood and wellbeing,” says Sari Castrèn, psychologist and research manager at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.”
Aug 28, 2023
As travel picks up, tourist spots are reinforcing intentional travel which involves ditching the smart phone.
What We Do
Ulko-Tammio. Photography by Annika Ruohonen
Unplugged provides off-grid digital detox cabins in the United Kingdom, encouraging visitors to recharge among nature. The wifi-free zones are just an hour away from major cities including London and Manchester, and guests are required to lock away their tech devices upon arrival for three days. There is science behind a 72-hour digital detox, the “3 Day Effect” is known to lower stress levels and improve cognitive function.
The Isle of Man introduced an initiative called Phonebox in March 2020, where visitors would lock their phones away for the duration of their stay, allowing them less digital distraction and more nurturing from nature.
The smartphone is enticing, according to a 2023 survey by Reviews.org, Americans check their phones on average 144 times a day and spending an average of four hours and 25 minutes each day on phones. This is why travel destinations want to curb digital habits that distract visitors from their surroundings and fully engage with nature.
Main image: Ulko-Tammio. Photography by Annika Ruohonen