News

Comment: Why wifi has no place in the wilderness

I am going to be labelled, by some at least, as an old duffer, completely out of step with the mobile, permanently connected 24/7 world in which we live.

I can handle it. I’ve been called worse.

But the fact is, I don’t really understand social media and this overwhelming need and desire to stay connected.

Of course I understand how it all works – in the main, anyway – but what I do not understand is this irritating, almost obsessive need to share everything with everyone, all of the time wherever you are.

The need to call, email, tweet, facebook, instagram, snap chat and the rest of it is, frankly, an alien concept to me. (I will admit, however, to being a serial texter, but that’s another story).

Fundamentally though, I do not want to be connected, or have the ability to connect, all day and all night in every location I happen to find myself.  

All of which is a prelude to airing my almost irrational objection to a move in Canada to make wifi available in its national parks.

The story caught my eye yesterday in the Canadian Press. Parks Canada, in its wisdom, has taken the decision to install wireless hotspots at up to 50 of its parks this year, with the intention of extending that to 150 within three years.

The reason? Authorities say visitors want to be able to stay in touch with work, friends and family, stay up to date with the news and connect with social media. It seems that viewing grizzlies in their natural habitat or hiking up a pristine mountain pass is no longer enough.

This is classic case of giving people not what they want, but what they think they want.

There is something sacrosanct and uniquely endearing about the wilderness. It is an environment untouched – or at least should be untouched – by the self-important frantic world in which we live and work.

Don’t people visit national parks in an attempt to break free, for a brief period, from the mundanity of office life and largely pointless email trails? Don’t families seek solitude, where they can reconnect as exactly that, a family, in locations that are thankfully free from the inanities of facebook status updates, photographs of food, irrelevant tweets and mobile video games?

Don’t couples want the romantic notion of being alone, out of the range of friends, parents and work colleagues?

Isn’t that what holidays are all about?

Despite my aforementioned weakness to text without any genuine reason or purpose, I enjoy not being able to indulge my habit. On recent visits to, ironically, Canada and New Zealand my mobile was of no more use than keeping me informed of the time of day. It was liberating, and the company I work for didn’t go into meltdown or descend into panic because I was out of reach.

I didn't need to be connected, and nor does anyone else. If only they realised it.

Interestingly, Parks Canada said the wifi move is partly an attempt to attract a younger and more urban demographic and to address a slight decrease in tourists. Installing hotspots will, they believe, give people an additional reason to visit the parks, safe in the knowledge that they can tweet and check work emails.

It got me thinking. Do people really choose a destination based on its connectivity to the wider world?

I can’t believe that to be true. Parks Canada would appear to think it is.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Travel Agents

Helloworld CEO pleased with investor feedback, as company completes $50m equity raising

Andrew Burnes has a bit of pep back in his step thanks to this latest vote of confidence from Helloworld’s investors.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

More than 100 jobs to go at Brisbane Airport

The cuts will account for, what would be by the end of 2020, a quarter of the company’s workforce.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Industry bodies back resilience of Victorian hoteliers, Lizard Island to reopen + MORE

Looking for some news to help you cure your winter blues? Sit back and let this week’s Hotel Wrap warm your bones.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy protection

Sir Richard Branson has reportedly been spotted buying Panadol in bulk to cope with the massive headache caused by Virgin’s UK-based airline.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Returning NSW residents from Victoria to go into hotel quarantine from Friday

Gladys has upped the strictness scale for returning NSW travellers, who will have to complete hotel quarantine at their own expense from Friday.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Crooked Compass gives agents opportunity to consult with the master

Have you been dreaming about becoming best friends with travel guru Lisa Pagotto? Now’s your opportunity to make an impression.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Travelport launches new tool for airline health and safety

Travelport has launched a nifty new feature to make airline health and safety measures more accessible for agents.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

STUDY: Aussies bursting for Pacific ‘bubble’ and domestic nature escapes

We creeped your clients’ search history and found out where they want to travel this year. Just kidding! An online travel platform did all the work for us.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Phew! Cruise line dodges potential COVID-19 outbreak after passenger tests positive

The poor old cruise industry was due for some positive news following the recent COVID-19 cases on board other cruise lines. Here it is.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Former Tourism Australia country manager resurfaces at Visit Sunshine Coast

Jenny Aitken hasn’t wasted much time finding a new role since her recent exit from Tourism Australia, unless you count her daytime Netflix bingeing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Tigerair scratched, thousands of jobs cut and a simplified fleet: Virgin Australia’s six-point blueprint for success

Have you been wondering what the hell Virgin and its future owner have been up to as the administration process nears the finish line? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Gun-toting hotel guest fires ‘warning shots’ after telling guests off for not social distancing

The coronavirus pandemic has unearthed some absolute crazies. On one end of the spectrum, you have Bunnings Karen; on the other end, you have this guy.

Share

CommentComments