Puppies, Meditation, and No Political Arguments: Aruba’s ‘Election Disconnection’ Campaign

Author: David McMillin       


The Aruba Tourism Authority is hoping Americans decide scuba diving around the sunken “Jane C” freighter will help them take their minds off the 2020 elections. (Aruba Tourism Authority)

Who will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president? Will Republicans keep the Senate? How will you talk about the impact of the impeachment hearings with your friends and relatives? If these questions are swirling in your brain, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that 56 percent of U.S. adults identify the upcoming election as a significant source of stress in their lives. Politics, unsurprisingly, can mess with our sense of wellbeing.


The crystal-blue pools located on the shores of Arikok National Park make a serene background for this Aruba “Election Disconnection” ad. (Aruba Tourism Authority)

The Aruba Tourism Authority is aiming to eliminate that source of stress — at least temporarily — with a political-free campaign called “Election Disconnection.” The island, located around 1,100 miles from the voter battleground coast of Florida, will offer travel packages throughout the month of October in 2020 that feature meditation sessions, anxiety-reducing sessions with puppies, and lockboxes for smart devices to escape the Wi-Fi signal of breaking news updates.

“As everyone copes with stress differently, we wanted to create a first-of-its-kind respite for visitors to disconnect from the politically-fueled stress ahead of the election,” Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO, Aruba Tourism Authority, said in a press release about the program. “No matter which political party you belong to, the One Happy Island of Aruba, with our endless sunshine and warm locals, will offer a welcome reprieve.”

The campaign does not aim to ditch the democratic process, though. Instead, the objective, according to the Vote Aruba website, is to help guests “return to the U.S. relaxed and ready to cast their vote on November 3.” Achieving those feelings of calm and tranquility will begin with a pre-trip questionnaire that asks travelers to rank their stress symptoms. Based on those results, each traveler will receive a customized itinerary. Booking a trip begins just before escaping political coverage will feel impossible: March 2, the day before 16 states host primaries on Super Tuesday.

Now, a destination needs to develop a post-election “Put the Results in the Rearview” promotion to make sure that a portion of the country can cope with the outcome.

David McMillin is an associate editor at Convene. This story was originally published Nov. 20, 2019.

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