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This tourist island in Europe declares itself a ‘phone-free’ zone

In the modern world, it has become almost obligatory for people to share their vacation photos on social media, particularly Instagram. It’s hard for social media users to fathom traveling without posting about it online. However, for those planning a trip to Finland’s Ulko-Tammio Island during the tourist season, their worst nightmare of not being able to capture their vacation moments on social media may become a reality.

The island is urging its visitors to refrain from using their mobile phones and instead immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Ulko-Tammio, situated in the Eastern Gulf of Finland and consistently hailed as the “world’s happiest country” for six consecutive years, claims to be the first phone-free tourist island in the world.

Interestingly, this island in the Nordic nation is also the birthplace of Nokia, a brand that achieved worldwide recognition for producing the best-selling smartphone of all time.

Mats Selin, an expert in island tourism at Visit Kotka-Hamina, stated in a press release, “The island of Ulko-Tammio, located off the coast of Hamina, will be a phone-free area this summer.” He added, “We want to encourage vacationers to disconnect from their smart devices and truly enjoy the islands.”

Ulko-Tammio, one of Finland’s 41 national parks, is home not only to people but also to rare birds and plants. Visitors can easily spot them while hiking along the island’s nature trails or from the bird tower. Although a mobile network is available on the island, tourists are invited to voluntarily participate in a digital detox.

The staff members of Parks & Wildlife Finland, the company managing the island, hope that the campaign will inspire tourists to disconnect from technology and engage with the island’s flora and fauna. Sari Castren, a psychologist and Research Manager at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, mentioned in a news release, “Switching off your phone, exploring nature, and meeting people face-to-face are bound to boost your mood and well-being.” Castren added, “We spend countless hours scrolling through our social media feeds, so taking a short break from them means you have more time for new experiences.”

Islands like Ulko-Tammio, located in the Eastern Gulf of Finland, are typically accessed by private boat, commuter ferry, or water taxi.


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