The tourism industry in Cyprus is considered one of the most significant in the economy of this country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. This is evident from the heavy investment that has been directed towards this sector both by the Cypriot government and private individuals. In this case I am referring to the myriad of hotels, leisure parks, resorts, and other facilities that constitute a well established tourism industry that have erupted over the recent past. Leisure centers particularly forms the bulk of tourism's facilities that characterize this sectors in Cyprus. One of the reasons that have been advanced to explain this increase is the tendency of the Cypriots to spend long hours indoor while the air condition is on, something that can be attributed to the hot climate of Cyprus. One such leisure center which is also one of the oldest in Cyprus is the Eleon Leisure Park.
Eleon Leisure Park is one in a huge number of Recreation centers that can be found in Nicosia, the Cyprus capital, and in the whole of Cyprus. Recreation Park in this case refer to a contemporary high class venue containing a wide range of facilities for relaxing in full view of a stunning landscape, it also ought to have audiovisual facilities together with superb ventilation, not to mention an experienced staff which is mandated with the responsibility of making customers or all ages and classes comfortable (Cyprus Events.Net, 2008). In this paper I will be analyzing one of the players in the Cyprus' tourism industry together with the tourism industry itself.
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Characteristics of the Cyprus tourism sector:
The tourism industry in Cyprus is a major industry that with agriculture, and service and business industry forms the largest fraction of the country's economy (Cyprus Events.Net, 2008). One of the major reasons why tourism is such a significant industry in this country is due to the high level of hospitality that can be sound in the country hotels and resorts, which are considered some of the finest in the world. Cyprus tourism sector has also been boasted greatly by the fun-loving nature of Cypriots. Naturally, Cypriots are known for their liking of luxurious entertainment, they also find gratification in using luxury items, something that has been credited for the growth of the local tourism that has been observed over the years (CyprusLinks.Com, 2011).
Another characteristic of the tourism industry in Cyprus is the myriad of historical sites together with archeological remains that attract millions of tourists. Some of these attractions includes; Petra tou Romiou, the so-called Aphrodite birthplace and Kings' tombs, both in Pafos; Ancient city of Choirokoitia, Roman theaters in Salamis and Kourion; Agia Napa monastery, Angeloktisti church that is located in Kiti, and fortified walls in Famagusta and Nicosia, to name but a few (CyprusLinks.Com, 2011). The high number of Cypriots in the Diaspora has been credited with vigorously marketing Cyprus as an attractive tourist destination abroad. They have also been hailed for facilitating majority of the tourism fairs and shows that are normally held annually in majority of the European capital.
Factors Affecting Tourism Sector in Cyprus:
The political situation has not been very friendly to the growth of the tourism sectors in this country. The long drawn dispute pitting Cyprus and Turkey as particularly hindered growth of tourism in this country as can be testified by the tourism statistics of the last couple of years (CyprusLinks.Com, 2011). Because of the centrality of the local culture and cuisine in the hospitality industry, the rich Cyprus culture and cuisine has been used to attract foreigners into this country. In this regard I am referring to the likes of Kleftiko, Kebab, Kalimari, fish dishes, Moussaka, Mezze assortment and other Cypriot national dishes (D.R. Deniz & Co., 2007). The multilingual and hospitable nature of the Cypriots is another characteristic that has assured the tourism sectors a steady supply of foreign tourists all year round (D.R. Deniz & Co., 2007).
Strengths of Eleon Leisure Park:
Eleon Leisure Park is one of the oldest leisure parks in Nicosia, Cyprus capital, and also in the whole of Cyprus. Situated at the heart of the Cyprus capital, Eleon Leisure Park is arguably the most strategically located recreation center in the whole of Cyprus (Cyprus in Your Heart, 2010). In fact the convenience emanating from that location is precisely the reason why it is so common with the locals residing in Nicosia. Eleon Leisure Park has the added advantage of being served by the wide network of road and rail network (Cyprus in Your Heart, 2010). This good network of road and rail has to an extent helped address the inconvenience that has been occasioned by the necessity of having to travel to different part of the city to execute some of the activities that are being offered by the center. Due to this network of infrastructure and the public transport operating in it locals have been able to access Eleon Leisure Park. The wide range of facilities present is another major plus for this center because it caters for the fun-needs of customers of all ages and class (Cyprus in Your Heart, 2010).
Weakness of Eleon Leisure Park:
However, this central location has also presented more challenges that ironically have made the center unattractive to the target customers in one way or the other. The limited space that Eleon owns in the heart of city has interfered with further expansion that has been inevitable as it strives to satisfy the emerging needs of their customer. This has occasioned a situation where the Leisure center has been forced to expand in other locations in the city thereby decentralizing a number of its service thereby inconveniencing customers who have to hop to those other places in order to execute the center's various services (Musyck, et al, 2010). This has lead to a situation where an Eleon's customer has to contend with constant movement to various parts of the city to execute the various center's services scattered in various parts of the city.
It is even made worse because a number of players who by virtue of being players in this industry are Eleon's competitors have their services centralized. Lemon Park for instance, might not be conveniently located like Eleon, however it has a wider range of products and services that it offers all of which can be accessed in a single location without necessarily hopping from one regions to another (Musyck, et al, 2010). This explain why Eleon has been losing family clients who are known to prefer relaxing in a single place where they can enjoy all services and activities without necessarily travelling with their kids for certain services.
Leon Leisure Park just like it peers in the industry offer a wide range of services and packages that have been tailored for various age groups. In it portfolio of products and services is a host of indoor to outdoor activities that are designed in manner that is cognizance of the need of various groups and weather patterns of this country (Panayotou, T, 2011). In this regard I am alluding to the various games and activities that have been designed for kids starting from infant all the way to teenagers together with those that have been tailor-made for business executives, among other classifications of clients in this sector. As for the range of facilities and equipment that can be found in Eleon Leisure Park, we have conference halls, restaurants, dance halls, and other equipment for both parties and unique events like christenings, weddings, private parties, kids parties, sport, and corporate events (Panayotou, T, 2011).
Comparison between Eleon and other player in this industry:
One of the observations that I have made in course of this comparison is that new players have always been coming up better and more superior in one way or the other than those already in the industry (Manoudi, 2006). A good example of this can be found in the fact that at inception Eleon was very popular with both local and foreign merry makers, then came Lemon, which brought improved versions of the Eleon services and product. Since then the industry has seen an explosion of similar leisure parks in the Cyprus capital, all of which have brought something new and better in the industry, something that has left Eleon looking old-fashioned and to an extent uncompetitive. I have also noted that this trend is not confined to the tourism industry, as a deeper analysis of the coffee shop industry will testify (Manoudi, 2006).
Being one in a number of leisure parks that have been established to satisfy the ever growing of the fun-loving Cypriots, Eleon Leisure Park, just like the rest, has endeavored to create a niche in a market that can be said to be near saturation. The fact that it is one of the initial leisure parks in this nation patched in the eastern section of the Mediterranean Sea does not give it the advantage that older and established firms normally enjoy simply because of the cut-throat competition that characterize this industry.
Statistics and research:
In the period between the year 2009 and 2010 show a 3.3% increase in the number of tourists who visited Cyprus (North Cyprus Daily.com, 2010). The number of tourists who visited this country in October year 2010 clocked 241,698, an increase from the previous month (November). Tourists who visited Cyprus from Russia in the same period rose by 26.4%, while those from Germany grew by 10.6%, over the same period (North Cyprus Daily.com, 2010). However on a sad note, tourists from UK decreased by almost 16.2% between the same period (between the months of October to November) (North Cyprus Daily.com, 2010). Overall, the number of tourists who visited Cyprus between 2009 and 2010 rose by 1.8% (North Cyprus Daily.com, 2010).
The tourism industry in Cyprus has been experiencing a tremendous growth over the years due to a number of factors that include; government high investment in this sector, aggressive marketing by the Cypriots in the Diaspora, locals support for the local tourism, a large collection of tourist attraction that include archeological remains and historical sites and lastly, the general fun-loving nature of the Cypriots, among others. This growth in tourism in this European country patched at the eastern Mediterranean Sea is better demonstrated by the wide collection of tourist facilities that include; hotels, resorts, and leisure centers to name but a few. Of these items making-up that collection, leisure centers are arguably the most preferred by the local and the foreign visitors. Some of the reasons that endear them to tourists include; the fact that they normally houses a wide range of activities and equipment that have been tailor-made for all ages, the hot Cyprus' climate, and the Cypriots' tendency to desire luxurious entertainment, among others reasons (Collins, 2008).
One of the leisure centers in Cyprus that is doing very well and which is also one of the oldest in the Cyprus capital is the Eleon Leisure Park. Eleon, as is commonly referred as, might be the oldest. However competitors, both old as well as upcoming, in this industry have been upping their onslaught on Eleon with every passing year. This has forced Eleon to adapt ways and means of surviving the cut-throat competition that has come to characterize this industry. Today Eleon is far bigger than it was a couple of year ago, it is also more focused than it has ever been, all courtesy of the competition that has been occasion by the entry of new players in this lucrative industry (Collins, 2008).
Due to the increased competition that has been occasioned by the explosion of the tourism sector in Cyprus there is need for the players to observe ethic as they outdo one another as far as the rivalry for market share is concerned. The government also ought to be more proactive in handling issues affecting this sector. In this regard the government should come up with proper regulations that should be used in policing and nurturing this sectors that has proved to have great potential (Kapardis, 1989). The Cyprus government should also seek a political solution to the dispute that has been simmering pitting it with its bitter neighbor, Turkey (Kapardis, 1989). This is because the lack of cooperation between these countries has had adverse effect on the tourism sectors of the two countries.