Yesterday was the official start of the British console campaign „Holiday Hangover” in the Bulgarian summer resort Sunny Beach. Figures from the British embassy and the local Union of Hotel Owners in Sunny Beach, Business Association Sunny Beach, the Municipality and Sunny Beach AD gathered on the main “Flower street” in the summer resort, in order to introduce this new project, the aim of which is to promote responsible behavior when consuming alcohol. Тhe British ambassador for Bulgaria - Jonathan Allen gave an exclusive interview for “Sunny Beach Radio” and he explained thoroughly the objectives and ideas behind his “Holiday Hangover”.
During the official kick off passing tourists were attracted by the Double Dekker, parked in front of hotel „Кuban” with an attached 5 meter poster of the campaign. Bracelets, brochures and key chains were given to everyone passing by with the emergency numbers written on them. „I hope that in a dangerous situation at least one of them will remember to look at the bracelet or the key chain”- shares Mr. Allen.
„ I am not a Church’s bishop or a 1970s movie. All we want to do is to remind you at 2 am the things you would not do at 10 o’clock in the morning.”- stated Mr. Allen, when trying to clarify the aim of his campaign. Sunny Beach has become one of the most famous summer destinations for young Brits, the sales for which are increasing every year. Over the last couple of summer seasons irresponsible drinking has resulted in a significantly high number of hospitalizations in the local medical offices. Irresponsible drinking has also escalated to an extent, where it has taken victims - in 2013 there are 23 recorded death cases of British tourists on the territory of the resort. „Balconing”- jumping from your balcony into the swimming pool of the hotel, has become another very famous trend amongst the tourists. It is namely the reason for 3 of the death cases in Sunny Beach for the year prior.
When asked who should take the responsibility for this Mr. Allen stressed that „You and your friends are the only people, who can tell how drunk you actually are”. Therefore, the campaign aims to provide the tourists with information about the closest hospitals the emergency number 112. Besides this it advices the youngsters to take care of their friends when going out and to stop them when noticing that they have had one too many.
However many blame the local night clubs and bars for the unfortunate fate of the tourists. But, when coming to a foreign country one should have some boundaries and more specifically has to respect the hosts. Therefore „Holiday Hangover” has a Twitter account, which tourists can follow all year long and hence be constantly informed about the dangers of overusing alcohol.
Further in his interview Mr. Allen discussed the Pick pockets - another very regular occurrence in Sunny Beach, regardless of whether drunk or sober. And since another of the campaign’s mottos is “Look after it or lose it” Mr. Allen suggested a future development of signs/posters, warning the tourists to keep their belongings save. „Believe me, leaving your passport in your room costs a lot less than, queuing for days in the Sunny Beach police station, in order to receive a new one.”- advices Mr. Allen.
Sunny beach is not the first summer destination, where binge drinking has been a massive problem. In fact the campaign set its beginning last year in the Greek islands ZaКhynthos, Malia and Magaluf. So far the death cases on these islands have decreased with 6%. It is still the beginning for Sunny Beach and results can be seen only next summer season. Until then all we can do is patiently wait and hope that after all the foreign tourists will follow their common sense, even at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Follow the official Twitter account of the campaign.