Travel industry news

16 Sep 2015

BY Rob Gill


'Take your Pic' youth scheme will return

Tour operators will be encouraged to participate in the second year of a campaign to help young holidaymakers from getting into trouble at key European resorts


The campaign by the British Foreign Office, supported by Abta, was launched this summer in nine of the most popular resorts with the youth market, including Ibiza, Magaluf, Malia, Kavos, Ayia Napa and Faliraki.


“Take your Pic” encouraged visitors to these resorts to post pictures of their positive holiday experiences on social media, using the hashtag #holidaywin.


A separate hashtag, #holidayfail, highlighted the potentially dangerous consequences of making certain decisions on holiday and also how such situations could be avoided.


The campaign, which was supported in-resort by brands such as Thomson Scene, Club 18-30, Balkan Holidays and Jet2, also included key messages being given to customers at rep briefings and through wristbands and posters.


Paul Rodwell, the FCO’s regional communications and campaigns manager for southern Europe, told TTG the 2015 campaign had been a “foundation year” that had “exceeded expectations”.


He added that the drop in reported incidents involving Britons in these youth-orientated resorts had been “very encouraging”.


Incidents reported by holidaymakers aged 15-30 to the FCO in the nine resorts dropped from 821 in 2014 to 789 this summer, despite a rise in arrivals, between May and August. These incidents ranged from lost or stolen passports to sexual assaults, missing persons and death.


Nikki White, Abta’s head of destinations and sustainability, said: “It’s important that it wasn’t branded as a government message and operators could include it in their own material.


“The focus was not on saying ‘don’t do this’ but on the outcomes and consequences – both positive and negative.”


Following a post-summer meeting between the FCO, Abta and tour operators, there are plans to expand the campaign for next year.


Rodwell added: “Having more partners will help us to make more impact next year. “We will also look at whether there are growing markets and geographic areas, which we could also align with this campaign, such as Thailand or South America for the gap-year market.”


The social media presence is likely to be expanded beyond Twitter and Facebook to include platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.

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