As the holiday season begins, social media fans may grapple with the question: If you didn’t post anything about your trip, did you actually go? There is now a place in Europe committed to a phone-free zone where this question no longer matters at all.
Difficulty resisting, for example, texting home and updating social media prompted Ulko-Tammio Island in Finland to urge visitors to put down their phones, according to reports. CNN.
Phone-free tourist island
Olku-Tamio claims to be the world’s first “phone-free tourist island”. Located in the eastern bay of Finland, the island is a national park in the Scandinavian country often referred to as the “happiest country in the world.”
“Olko-Tamio Island, off the coast of Hamina, will be a phone-free zone this summer,” says Mats Selin, island tourism expert at Visit Kotka-Hamina. “We want to encourage vacationers to turn off their smart devices to really enjoy the islands.” Ulko-Tammio, one of Finland’s 41 national parks, is uninhabited but home to many rare birds and plants, which visitors can spot while hiking the island’s nature trails or from the island’s birdhouse.
It’s time for new experiences
Participation in a free phone visit for tourists in Ulko-Tammio is voluntary. However, employees at the company that runs the island hope the campaign will lead tourists to separate plants and animals and feel a sense of community with them. “Turning off your phone, exploring nature and meeting people face-to-face will definitely boost your mood and well-being,” said Sari Kastrin, a psychologist and research director at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. “We spend countless hours scrolling through our social media feeds, so taking a break gives you more time for a new experience.”
Islands such as Ulko-Tammio in the National Park can be reached mainly by water, for example with a ferry or water taxi – you just have to book it using a device such as a phone.
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