Northern Cyprus party trip causes controversy

Student representation organisations have warned teens from booking a summer holiday with Austria’s biggest post-graduation bash organiser for safety reasons.

The Austrian Pupils Union warned yesterday (Weds) that the holiday resort in northern Cyprus chosen by DocLX was situated near a prohibited area. “There is an ammunition depot right behind the hotel. The students do not know anything about that,” the union announced.

The student representation also made aware of the volatile safety situation in the region which has been occupied by Turkish troops since the 1970s. It pointed out that northern Cyprus is not acknowledged as a free and independent country internationally and made aware that Austria had no diplomatic representation there. The DocLX trip is currently promoted as a holiday “you will not have forgotten in 60 years’ time.”

DocLX rejected all points brought forward by the union against its X-Jam 2012 party scheduled for next June. The company said it ensured emergency ambulance flights could take place. DocLX also said the five-star hotel – where free-of-charge paintball, water skiing and kite surfing would be on offer – was not based near an exclusion zone but a “restricted, private holiday area for safety personnel”. DocLX announced: “Around 200,000 people from EU (European Union) countries are visiting the northern part of Cyprus without any complications every year.”

DocLX has been competing with rival Splashline over getting Austrian youngsters southwards after their final school exams. Thousands of teenagers are spending all-inclusive vacations in Turkey or other popular destinations organised by the prospering firms each summer. The enterprises are currently bracing for legal action after a consumer rights and information watchdog made clear it would take them to court.

The Association for Consumer Information (VKI) said earlier this week it decided to report DocLX and Splashline to juridical authorities for their “aggressive alcohol advertisement”. A spokesman for VKI said his organisation wanted the agencies to stop promoting around-the-clock supply of strong alcoholic beverages at holiday resorts chosen for graduates immediately. He said: “It seems that Austria’s biggest post-graduate trip organisers try to outmuscle each other over who offers more high-percentage drinks.”

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 30 per cent of Austrian teens had been drunk at least twice while 20 per cent had eating disorders. The alpine country comes only 21st among the international organisation’s children in a youth health check. Sweden tops the ranking followed by Denmark and the Czech Republic. The OECD has 34 members.