By Jean Christou
WITH TOURIST numbers from the UK significantly up this year, the British High Commission in Nicosia, has teamed up with Ayia Napa municipality to use social media to encourage young Brits to choose a #holidaywin rather than a #holidayfail when in #AyiaNapa2015.
British High Commissioner Ric Todd told the Sunday Mail the campaign was created to speak to an audience of young British travellers in a way that would capture their attention and inspire them to make positive rather than negative choices while on holiday here.
“We encourage young tourists in Ayia Napa to take photos of their experiences in the beautiful resort and tweet or put them on Facebook using the hashtags,” Todd said.
“By doing so we are encouraging young people to have a good time but also if their experience has not been as good, to encourage other young people to avoid similar situations.”
Close to a million British tourists visit Cyprus every year, and Ayia Napa is the main destination for the younger set.
According to the High Commission last summer consular teams covering Cyprus (Ayia Napa), Spain (Ibiza, Magaluf), Greece [Faliraki, Kardamena (Kos), Kavos, Laganas, Malia], and Bulgaria (Sunny Beach) dealt with 20 deaths; 140 serious hospitalisations; 252 detentions; 23 missing persons; 36 rapes or sexual assaults; and 800 lost or stolen passports among 15-30 year-olds.
Todd believes many of these cases could have been prevented and that a bad experience can destroy a holiday, cause trauma and ruin the reputation of a tourist resort.
“We want British nationals travelling abroad to have enjoyable holidays, and we want our consular staff to be able to focus on our most vulnerable customers – such as those who have become victims of serious crime, or individuals with mental health needs who find themselves in difficulty. Reducing the more ‘preventable’ cases through campaigning helps us to do this,” he said.
“This year we are working alongside key youth tourism partners such as Club 18-30, Thomson Scene and ABTA to deliver ‘Take Your Pic’. The campaign is predominantly digital and seeks to connect with travellers from the point of booking their holiday through to their time in resort and back home again”.
The ‘Take your Pic’ campaign is being run primarily through digital channels such as Twitter. Posters and bracelets have been distributed in resort hotels in Ayia Napa through the partner tour operators. Those who tweet pictures will have the opportunity of winning a selfie stick on a weekly basis. The campaign can be followed on the Twitter page @TYPAyiaNapa.
Todd jointly launched the campaign with Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannos Karousos by taking a joint selfie the popular resort.