Cyprus plays culture card to raise tourism

The Cyprus Tourist Organisation is trying to steer the island’s image away from Greek/Turkish conflict with a new PR campaign highlighting its cultural riches.

The Cyprus Tourist Organisation is trying to steer the island’s

image away from Greek/Turkish conflict with a new PR campaign

highlighting its cultural riches.



The intensive six-month programme is being handled by the specialist

travel PR, advertising and marketing firm WT Associates.



The agency won the contract last month after pitching against Charles

Barker, Shandwick Communications and BGB and Associates.



Its brief is to promote Cyprus as ’more than sun, sea and sand’ by

publicising its cultural and environmental aspects.



These include the Akamas Chamber Music Festival, the European Limassol

Arts Festival and the staging of Verdi’s opera Othello in Paphos.



The campaign is the latest PR project to be commissioned by the Cyprus

Tourist Organisation in its bid to increase the capacity of visitors to

Cyprus by 10 per cent year on year. The island recorded 730,000 visitors

in 1996.



Lillian Panayi, assistant to the tourist organisation’s director Orestis

Rossides, said the current troubles in Cyprus with the purchase by the

government of air missiles from Russia, was ’not a crisis’ for the

tourist industry.



She said her office had received some enquiries as had individual tour

operators and the Cyprus High Commission but there was no danger to

tourists and it was ’business as usual’.



The Cypriot Government has lifted the ban on charter flights from

Gatwick to Cyprus which is expected to make an impact on holiday

figures. From 1 October tour operators will be adding weekly regional

flights from Glasgow, Leeds, Norwich, East Midlands and Bournemouth.



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