Syrian Tourist Board: “We just need the right social media strategy”
DAMASCUS: Syria’s Tourist Board is optimistic about reviving the country’s flagging visitor numbers, a spokesman has insisted.
Speaking from the bomb-scarred ruins of the organisation’s headquarters in Damascus, marketing manager Aziz Helvetica said: “It’s true that we’re facing a challenging period. But we’re confident that with social media, we can start fresh conversations about what Syria in 2013 offers travellers.”
Pausing to post a photo of a mangled Homs market stall on the ‘Visit Syria’ Facebook page – captioned “Which fruits do you think these were? Share and Like!” – he continued:
“People look at Syria on the news and they see a cascade of violence and despair. It’s partly true – but even in the face of humanitarian catastrophes, we’ve still got time to engage with visitors on the platform of their choice.
“A few of our interns have had to leave due to losing limbs and things, but we still guarantee answers to any questions within 30 minutes!” he added, as he responded to a tweet requesting locations of field hospitals in Aleppo.
Questioned on the campaigns they were considering, Helvetica remained tight-lipped, but hinted “we’re looking at incentivising visits to key attractions with a photo-based competition called #syriaslycool.”
“Though it would help if the WiFi worked for longer than 3 minutes at a time,” he added.