Most people go on holiday to get away from it all – to put the work Blackberry down and their feet up. However for some, the temptation to check their emails every five minutes is too much to handle on their own. In fact, in a recent Forbes survey, 63 per cent of directors said they checked their emails at least once every one or two hours, with a further 12 per cent admitting to looking five times in 60 minutes! Luckily for these workaholics, help is at hand in the form of a new breed of tech-free holidays, bookable through us at HRS!
Sometimes referred to as ‘digital detoxes’, tech-free resorts make it their modus operandi to prevent you from using your smartphone, laptop or other portable gadgets – filling the gap instead with relaxation and luxury. The gap in the market for this kind of break is huge, with a recent Trip Advisor survey finding that two-thirds of Britons have been on holiday with someone who has point-blank refused to switch off their mobile phone.
It is therefore unsurprising that some hotels are looking to capitalise, with ‘Blackhole Resorts’ springing up all over the world. Some destinations are now even able to utilise their remote nature and lack of Wi-Fi access as a value proposition to potential guests. Some even confiscate mobile devices as guests check in!
According to Euromonitor and World Travel Market’s global trend report for 2013, there is an upward trend in these kinds of packages being offered by hotels, and they are likely to become even more common over the next year.
A spokesman for Euromonitor said: “What would it feel like to live in 1999 again when mobile technology was not an intrinsic part of our everyday lives? Hundreds of hotels have emerged offering just that: a chance to check in and check out. Several of these spots going against the tide offer special ‘technology-free’ packages as an escape for busy travellers who want to get rid of their ‘leash’ and simply relax.”
A recent study by Professor Ulrike Gretzel from the University of Wollongong in Australia, published in the International Journal of Tourism Sciences, dubbed this as a need for ‘digital peace’. Dr Gretzel said: “Even though people put an absentee notice on their emails there is still an expectation that you will still look at it. We have had some people in our study tell us that when they stumble into dead zones on holiday they feel more immersed in the destination and become more relaxed.”
The Westin in Dublin is one such destination that can offer you an email sabbatical, giving you a chance to escape from the electronic chatter of daily life. As well as providing you with breakfast in bed, indulgent massages and a safe in which to lock your gadgets away during your stay, a ‘Detox Survival Kit’ will also be left in your room. This includes a map of the city of Dublin so you can navigate around the city the old fashioned way without the crutch of GPS, a real newspaper, a relaxing white tea candle, a board game and even a tree planting kit to take home with you.
Black Tomato holidays also offer digital detoxes, but in the more exotic climes of the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition to exploring the myriad of beautiful islands bordered by the Caribbean Sea without your Blackberry in your back pocket, a life coach is also on hand to help you maintain this relaxed, Black Tomato way of life upon your return home.
If you are one of those people that just can’t switch off and enjoy a break without thinking about what is going on at home, a tech-free holiday may well be the perfect solution.