We are living in the age of technology, but travelers are finding themselves torn between the desire to unplug and the need to stay connected.

While some brands are taking an all or nothing approach to being tech-friendly, many are learning to strike a balance, combining just the right amount of innovative technology while still encouraging guests to put away their mobile devices.

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Trends to Watch

Supporting Travelers Unwilling to Unplug

Climbing trees, hiking hills, canoeing to the center of a lake – people are going to extreme lengths to get cell phone reception while traveling according to a new study by Asurion. While recent consumer trends are pointing to tech-free vacations as the next frontier, the report indicates more than half of Americans are staying synced up while away.

This research confirms that it’s still crucial for brands to maintain strong reception and internet capabilities to meet consumer expectations. (via Fox News

Personal Islands Are the New Go-To for Tech Detox – If You Can Afford It

The wealthiest of travelers may have found a cure for electronic overload – extreme seclusion in the form of private island vacations. The demand for this niche offering is increasing, with current suppliers reporting sold out seasons and planning new locations and expanded portfolios.

While not every brand will be able to mimic this concept, the idea of luxury isolation is a growing trend that companies may want to consider incorporating into more traditional settings. Private oasis within hotels, anyone? (via Skift)

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Campaigns to Watch

High-Tech Travel Planning

Although travelers may struggle with tech engagement and detachment while on vacation, they still love all the tech-help they can get during the planning stage. One major airline is betting on that need and has partnered with WayBlazer to introduce artificially intelligent chatbots who can advise potential guests on trip ideas and recommendations leading to packages provided by Emirates.

With a near 90% lift in user engagement compared to click-through ads, it’s clear that technology can be used to effectively market offerings within the travel consumer’s journey to book. (via MarTech)

Instagram Tapped to Convince Travelers to Disengage

Social media is at the root of over connectivity, but Quebec Tourism is turning that concept on its head by actually using Instagram to convince travelers to leave it all behind.

The destination is creatively partnering with influencers on this platform to share the benefits of unplugging while visiting Quebec to encourage visitors to fully immerse themselves in the destination experience. (via Skyword)

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Brands to Watch

Can’t Disconnect? Book a Tour That Bans Mobile Devices

Tour group newcomer Off the Grid is betting on the appeal of nostalgic, low-tech adventure to win business. Making phones and social sharing forbidden during tours, the company is helping guests go tech-free by providing some basic socializing needs like having photographers on the trip to capture special moments and sites for each guest.

Consider hiring others to take quality photos of guests who then receive them on their chosen social channel to edit or post during their vacation down time. (via The Manual)