Sunday, January 24, 2010

Apostolides Vs Orams and Tourism in "North Cyprus"

This is what is going to be the impact of the decision of the UK Appeal court in the case Apostolides Vs Orams in tourism in Cyprus, and more concrete, in the occupied side of Cyprus, the so called "North Cyprus"

Form this blog's point of view this legal battle puts back in the right track the issues of Tourism in the occupied by Turkish troops part of Cyprus.

A bit of history: Cypriot tourism starts its development with mostly Greek Cypriot Hoteliers but also some Turkish Cypriot businessmen back in the sixties. After the Turkish invasion in the country in July 1974 the biggest engine of Cyprus Economy, tourism, suddenly stopped working. The reactivation of this engine begun again when the refugee entrepreneurs from the occupied land found the courage to start again from ashes. Hoteliers and travel agents managed to put back on the global tourist map the Cypriot Tourist product with great success. The creation of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation in 1975 was crucial.

In the meantime, the so called Turkish Cypriot authorities have been giving away hotels, land and premises to people they called "legal users".  This was an attempt to create a property status quo in order to assure political pressure. In my sincere opinion this did not serve in any good manner neither the interests of those users nor the interests of any politician in the occupied side on an international level. Giving away property that does not legally belong to you especially in European Union territory can only expose you heavily.

Apostolides Vs Orams case goes a step further. Mr. Meletis Apostolides and his lawyers using common sense managed to prove to all politicians that things cannot be the way they want them to be. Politics should stay out of things like human rights, basic freedoms and now is proven that should stay out of property and extensively tourism.

Now if we apply simple logic, if we just follow common sense, the same way the Cypriot, European and UK Appeal Courts did, we easily reach to the conclusion that all tourists, being those Cypriots or foreign, who visit the occupied by the Turkish troops land, should not use the occupied hotels since they are committing the same mistake Mr. and Mrs. Orams did.

Today, the legal owners of hotels are able to see who stays to those hotels searching the internet. We take as example the Dome Hotel in Kyrenia. The hotel belongs legally to Mr. Katsellis and his family. A simple search on Trip Advisor will give us a lot of information about who visited the hotel and when. Unfortunately those people have never been informed what it really means to be accommodated there. So as an advice, before you book a hotel in the occupied side of Cyprus, make sure your agent gives you all the information and please make a quick phone call to your lawyer of the ministry of foreign affairs of your country to make sure that what is suppose to be a relaxed holiday does not become a legal battle you will lose for sure. Once again what is right is right and no war or political interest can change it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rethinking Love in Tourism, a key question for Tourist Destinations

When it comes to Tourism marketing I feel that we are still working like the old times. Advertising and Marketing are defiantly two aspects of tourism where most budgets are spent.

We all talk about niche markets, personalized marketing, consumer analysis, customer relationships, products thought for the customer, destinations made to relax customers, blah blah and more blah customer blah….

How many destinations have really talked to the consumers? How many hotels really spent money on talking to their customers? How many travel companies design travel products as if it was for them to travel? Love your customer is not asking him to love you. Love is Give and Take,  not Take and Give. So if you really want you customer to Love you;  first you have to really love him !

Online marketing definitely offers many more "love tools", but still, who knows how to use them? or how many destinations use them effectively?

Please take 2 minutes and watch this video. Try to get in her shoes even if who we really are is him.