It’s to be thankful for the rock solid foundations of the island of Cyprus as it stood firm in the eye of the storm on Twitter last fortnight.
It’s undeniable that the most reliable medium and the most adapted for real-time control remained, even until today twitter. We have much to be thankful for the tightly knit group of journalists, economists, academics and knowledgeable observers that made sure the proper news and opinions were always rising to the top at all times ahead of the social media Tsunami.
The demand and need for real-time information was there for the financial sector – but how about for travelers?
All that said, the bail-out information frenzy linked to Cyprus showed that critical information flowed much like a wave and quite distinct from other bubbles, this one has marked the beginning of a new era and exposes the true gaps of competency, transparency, credibility and sectorial representativity, as far as service sector is concerned, and quite devastating for the Cyprus Tourism sector in particular.
A clear distinction has yet to be made, and the events leading up to this day including the timid announcements published by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, are clear evidence that too few are riding any media wave of customer communication and service that will bear the weight of concerns of customers, in lieu of attending a stagnating real estate market and a burdened construction sector.
It was on March 15th that the news broke out spiking at 22.000 mentions/day from an average of 3.500 mentions/day – then up to 200.000/day past green monday.*
You can imagine the impact for travelers looking for reassurance, credible information and Cyprus Tourism representation.
Put in perspective of scale, It was only on the 28th of March, slightly 1.425.922 mentions later, that the Cyprus Hotel Association published it’s first Q/A to travelers on it’s website in the form of 8 point yes/no answers.
At the end of last week, it was ACTA that was publishing a Plea online (in the Showbiz section of Cyprus Weekly), about how the Central Bank should raise restrictions on capital movements for Cyprus Tourism Sector. Since then, ACTA hadn’t pronounced itself. Did this mean the banking bailout has not been a problem until now? Is the crisis to hit the travel sector yet to come?
And only yesterday, after 1 million, eight hundred mentions (1.818.127) the Cyprus Airways Twitter Stream was publishing a return to normality of their operations. Cyprus Airways Twitter profile had not communicated a single tweet during the whole crisis. Total silence since the 16th of March.
ANNOUNCEMENT Cyprus Airways is operating as usual and all our flights are carried out according to schedule
— Cyprus Airways (@Cyprus_Airways) April 9, 2013
More than ever, it’s the inexistant voice of the Tourism Industry that has been diluted to such insignificance that there exists no individual facebook, twitter or website presence that will ever be efficient to serve the needs of an adapting global industry.
And it’s even clearer that, no organisational gap to be filled, no promotional campaign to be executed, no minister of Energy tourism policy to be written, no digital training course to be taken, that will be able to substitute the need for a comprehensive communication service that properly aligns with the nature of the modern traveler and how strategic the tourism sector has now become for the Island’s economic sustenance.
Welcome to the end of Tourism 1.0 in Cyprus.
— Alexandra ATTALIDES (@AAttalides) March 28, 2013
*Data – analytics.topsy.com