Scotland: not a digital backwater but a digital detox destination

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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The feedback is clear. About half of all visitors to the outer reaches of Scotland complain about the lack of connectivity – scarce mobile signal, scant WiFi provision.

And the Scottish tourism chiefs have decided to do something about it. Promote the fact. It’s a feature, not a bug.

At a time when so many are overwhelmed by a digital “fomo”, or fear of missing out, VisitScotland spies an opportunity to “reposition parts of Scotland as places to embrace the concept of ‘jomo’ – the joy of missing out”, reports the Scotsman newspaper.

A VisitScotland report explains:

Although technology is and will be a driving force for many years to come with tourism, some providers have identified a niche market for those who want to escape digital life, albeit temporarily.

Health and wellbeing tourism has excelled in recent years.

Psychological health is also identified as an area for growth, with many providers offering packages such as tai chi breaks as a means of escape from everyday digital life, providing an opportunity for consumers to detach from life, and regenerate.

Chris Greenwood of VisitScotland, adds: “People can make a virtue of the fact there is no phone signal or internet access and use it in the way they promote the fact they are in a really natural environment where you can get away from it all, where you might have to live with a peat fire or a gas lamp for a week.”

If “jomo” doesn’t do it for you, other buzzwords are available. Promotions include the attraction of “digital detox”, and instead of WiFi hot spots, “not spots”.

At the Glasgow Herald, columnist Drew Allan is impressed by tourism promoters’ “razor-sharp intellect”, which has “helped me radically alter my mindset”.

By way of example:

• I now consider myself blessed to live in a country where you never have to worry about there being a drought.

• I am fortunate that my national football team will never put me through the nerve-shredding ordeal of a penalty shoot-out.

• My arithmetical skills have been immeasurably improved through following the fortunes of my national rugby team.

• My car is environmentally friendly (largely because it only starts once in every five attempts; for the same reason, it also promotes healthy exercise).

•The bus windows aren’t dirty; they’re just privacy-enhanced …

Remember, every cloud should have a silver lining; but if it doesn’t, it’ll be good for the garden.

See also:

New centre for dark tourism – travellers who love the macabre

Advice for the internet-dependent

Fukushima as tourist attraction

NZ tourism ads from years gone by

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