European destination asks tourists to ditch phones on arrival

Despite the many benefits the internet and digital devices have had on humanity, many of us dream of a world – or even a weekend – without smartphones.

That’s why ‘digital detox’ holidays have gained traction over the years, with people eager to switch off their phones and enjoy the present, even if only for a day or two. 

These usually look like cabins in the woods or, for the other half, luxury all-inclusive resorts. 

But now, a small island off the coast of Finland is trying to become the world’s first phone-free tourist zone by asking tourists to stay off their phone while travelling.

Ulko-Tammio is an uninhabited island home to Finland’s national parks, with rare birds and plants as well as indescribable views. Perfect for Instagram, no?

There’s a bird tower offering views of the national park and historical artifacts, like a cave originally intended as a shelter for the crew during World War II and two restored cannons in their original positions.

With nature its main attraction, it’s easy to see why there’s no need for a smartphone (unless of course, you’re afraid to use a real map – but most hikes and nature trails are clearly marked, so no worries there).

While the island has a working mobile network, tourism officials are now asking visitors to keep their phones in their pockets and take in the scenery. 

‘The island of Ulko-Tammio, which is located off the coast of Hamina, will be a phone-free area this summer,’ Mats Selin, from Visit Kotka-Hamina, said.

‘We want to urge holidaymakers to switch off their smart devices and to stop and genuinely enjoy the islands.’

Of course, no one will be banned from taking pictures, though it would be preferred if tourists used digital cameras and refrain from posting until they were off the island.

We think that’s fair!

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