In the midst of the upcoming summer season, where social media has become an integral part of vacationing, one tourist island in the Eastern Gulf of Finland is advocating for a different kind of experience. Ulko-Tammio, an uninhabited island located in a national park, is encouraging visitors to put away their smartphones and immerse themselves in nature.
Ulko-Tammio claims to be the world's first phone-free tourist destination, promoting a digital detox for its guests. Despite the island having a functioning mobile network, tourists are urged to resist the temptation and fully engage with the island's natural beauty.
Mats Selin, an expert in island tourism at Visit Kotka-Hamina, expressed the purpose behind the initiative, stating, "We want to urge holidaymakers to switch off their smart devices and to stop and genuinely enjoy the islands."
Unplugging from technology can have numerous benefits, as Sari Castrén, a psychologist and Research Manager at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, explains. "Switching off your phone, exploring nature, and meeting people face-to-face are bound to boost your mood and well-being. We spend countless hours scrolling our social media feeds, so taking a short break from them means you have more time for new experiences."
Visitors to Ulko-Tammio can explore the island's nature trails, observe rare bird species, and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. Parks & Wildlife Finland, the organization managing the island, hopes that by participating in the digital detox, tourists will connect with nature and foster meaningful interactions with fellow visitors.
Accommodation options on the island include tents and a cabin maintained by Parks & Wildlife Finland, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere.
While participation in the phone-free experience is voluntary, the island's staff encourages visitors to seize the opportunity to embrace the freedom from constant digital distractions.
As summer beckons and travel plans take shape, it's worth considering the appeal of disconnecting from the virtual world and savoring the authenticity of a phone-free vacation. Ulko-Tammio's initiative serves as a reminder that the best memories are often made when we fully engage with our surroundings and those we share them with. So, why not embark on an adventure where the focus is on the beauty of nature rather than the number of likes on a social media post?