THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERNET

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGIES USE BY CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION
By

Eva Mª Padrón Jorge Reg. No 201005031
Marta Stachowska Reg. No 201008016
Md.Yeasin Reg. No 200603943
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION
a. Research area
b. Research interest
c. Research questions
d. Research value

2. LITERATURE REVIEW
a. What is e-commerce?
b. Strengths of e-commerce marketing strategies
c. Weaknesses of e-commerce marketing strategies
d. Current situation of e-commerce marketing strategies in Cyprus

3. METHODOLOGY
a. Data collection
b. Data analysis

4. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
Question 1: what are the strengths of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Question 2: what are the weaknesses of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Question 3: What can be done to improve Internet marketing strategies of CTO?
Question 4: Which ideas of Internet marketing strategies of other countries (Spain and Poland) can the CTO use in the future?

5. CONCLUSIONS

6. BIBLIOGRAPHY
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

First of all, we would like to thank Mr. Nicos Nicolaou for his great teaching skills the subject Final Year Project.
We also have to mention his help in writing this assignment. Moreover, we personally appreciate his kind consideration of giving some extra time.
Thanks are also owned to some students and hotelier for executive help regarding this project.
1.
INTRODUCTION

a. Research area
Nowadays the Internet is the most common medium of communication all over the world. It has also become one of the most significant tools of marketing used by companies. For this reason it plays a key role in marketing strategies used by Tourism Organizations, including the CTO.

What is more, the tourism industry has specific features that explain its importance for economic (regional) development and its inclination toward IT systems and e-marketing technology. In addition, tourism greatly influences regional development, social, economic and demographic environment and with major changes taking place in international tourism, with tourist/customer behavior changing continuously as the type and duration of holiday-taking changes, competition is growing faster than the pool of tourists.

Today, tourism is the largest industry in the world, in particular, to small islands or countries like Cyprus that sustain large percentages of their national economy on this industry. Table 1 shows tourism industry sector contributes almost the half of the total economy in Cyprus.
Source: CTO

b. Research interest
We have chosen the topic of Internet marketing strategies used by the CTO, since we believe that Cyprus has an enormous touristic potential. This potential, to our minds, should be more exposed in the website of CTO and more effort should be put in promoting it in order to attract more visitors, not only from Europe, but form the whole world.
The tourism domain is an excellent example of the trend towards personalized services and a complex marketing mechanism and it reflects customers becoming a part of product creation. It should also be noted that, a number of non-IT/technology related issues with regards to the tourism market and its customers, such as:
• Dynamic market and network structures,
• Pricing and market design,
• Designing and experimenting business models,
• User decision modelling and usage analysis

Should be taken into consideration in order to meet the challenges and explore the opportunities as well as to improve e-?arketability and capture the clear benefits of e-?arketing, such as, overall customer-lifetime value orientation, customer dictates, selling process customization, interactive/information-enriched solutions, continuous customer interaction and customer expectations set by customer’s experience across the market.

The primary tool of growth and profitability for the tourism industry in Cyprus will be the effectiveness of the marketing system CTO puts into place to support e-?arketing and existing channels.

c. Research questions
Question 1: what are the strengths of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Question 2: what are the weaknesses of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Question 3: What can be done to improve Internet marketing strategies of CTO?
Question 4: Which ideas of Internet marketing strategies of other countries (Spain and Poland) can the CTO use in the future?

d. Research value
Our study will not only help other researchers expand their knowledge on e-commerce and the advantages and disadvantages of this marketing tool but it will also bring a broad insight in marketing strategies used by the CTO to attract visitors. It will include as well a genuine and relevant assessment of them and what is more their effectiveness in promoting Cyprus Hospitality, their strengths and weaknesses product will be discussed.

Our project may help hospitality industry and tourism in Cyprus in improving Internet marketing strategies by giving new ideas and advice of e-marketing strategies used by another country, very successful in that field of industry – Spain. The analysis and comparison between Cyprus and Spain, which both are Mediterranean holiday destination is, in our opinion, an opportunity to modify approach of Cyprus regarding e-marketing strategies and change them for better.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW
a) What is e-commerce?
Philip Kotler claims that electronic commerce ( e-commerce) is a general term for purchasing, selling and exchanging of goods and services over computer networks (such as the Internet) through which transactions or terms of sale are performed electronically. He also states that electronic markets are ”market spaces”, rather than physical ”marketplaces”, in which sellers offer their products and services electronically, and buyers search for information, identify what they want, and place orders using a credit card or other electronic payment.

A little different approach is presented by Anna S. Mattila, who defines electronic commerce as a way of doing real-time business transactions via telecommunications networks, when the customer and the merchant are in different geographical places. She also indicates that e-commerce is a broad concept that includes virtual browsing of goods on sale, selection of goods to buy, and payment methods. Electronic commerce operates on a bona fide basis, without prior arrangements between customers and merchants. E-commerce operates via the Internet using all or any combination of technologies designed to exchange data (such as EDI or e-mail), to access data (such as shared databases or electronic bulletin boards), and to capture data (through the use of bar coding and magnetic or optical character readers).

Terminology used in E-Commerce
* Buyers – these are people with money who want to purchase a good or service.
* Sellers – these are the people who offer goods and services to buyers. Sellers are generally recognized in two different forms: retailers who sell directly to consumers and wholesalers or distributors who sell to retailers and other businesses.
* Producers – these are the people who create the products and services that sellers offer to buyers. A producer is always, by necessity, a seller as well. The producer sells the products produced to wholesalers, retailers or directly to the consumer.

Marketing Strategies of ecommerce:
* Search Engine Placement
* Viral Marketing

Search Engine Placement
* Have a unique product
* Offer good content and features
* Get listed in regional and industry directories
* Include address / phone #
* Buy traffic

Top 3 Search Engine
> Google
> Yahoo
> MSN

How Search Engine finds any website
1. Search engine ‘Spider’ or ‘Crawler’ visits your site
2. Or you can register at search engines
3. Your site information is added to the search engine index
4. Search engine software finds your site in their index

Other marketing strategies of e-Commerce
> Linking business leads and customers to the company through its presence on the internet:
– Website,
– Directories,
– Industry portals.

> Advertising online:
– e-mail marketing,
– Newsletters,
– Online polls.

> Gaining visibility.

Online Advertising
• Offer based e-mails
• Newsletters
• Opinion Polls
• Catalog requests
• Dynamic, interactive and inexpensive!

Viral Marketing: Viral Marketing Communications provides professional Internet marketing, web design and development, and search engine optimization to clients ranging from small businesses to divisions of major corporations.

b) Strengths of e-commerce marketing strategies
Ecommerce allows people to carry out businesses without the barriers of time or distance. One can log on to the Internet at any point of time, be it day or night and purchase or sell anything one desires at a single click of the mouse.

The direct cost-of-sale for an order taken from a web site is lower than through traditional means (retail, paper based), as there is no human interaction during the on-line electronic purchase order process. Also, electronic selling virtually eliminates processing errors, as well as being faster and more convenient for the visitor.
Ecommerce is ideal for niche products. Customers for such products are usually few.

But in the vast market place i.e. the Internet, even niche products could generate viable volumes.
Another important benefit of Ecommerce is that it is the cheapest means of doing business.

The day-to-day pressures of the marketplace have played their part in reducing the opportunities for companies to invest in improving their competitive position. A mature market, increased competitions have all reduced the amount of money available to invest. If the selling price cannot be increased and the manufactured cost cannot be decreased then the difference can be in the way the business is carried out. Ecommerce has provided the solution by decimating the costs, which are incurred.
From the buyer’s perspective also ecommerce offers a lot of tangible advantages:

* Reduction in buyer’s sorting out time.
* Better buyer decisions
* Less time is spent in resolving invoice and order discrepancies.
* Increased opportunities for buying alternative products.

The strategic benefit of making a business ‘ecommerce enabled’, is that it helps reduce the delivery time, labour cost and the cost incurred in the following areas:

* Document preparation
* Error detection and correction
* Reconciliation
* Mail preparation
* Telephone calling
* Data entry
* Overtime
* Supervision expenses

Operational benefits of e commerce include reducing both the time and personnel required to complete business processes, and reducing strain on other resources. It’s because of all these advantages that one can harness the power of ecommerce and convert a business to e-business by using powerful turnkey ecommerce solutions made available by e-business solution providers.

c) Weaknesses of e-commerce marketing strategies
One important weakness of e-commerce is that the Internet has still not touched the lives of a great number of people, either due to the lack of knowledge or trust. A large number of people do not use the Internet for any kind of financial transaction. Some people simply refuse to trust the authenticity of completely impersonal business transactions, as in the case of e-commerce. Many people have reservations regarding the requirement to disclose personal and private information for security concerns. Many times, the legitimacy and authenticity of different e-commerce sites have also been questioned.

Another limitation of e-commerce is that it is not suitable for perishable commodities like food items. People prefer to shop in the conventional way than to use e-commerce for purchasing food products. So e-commerce is not suitable for such business sectors. The time period required for delivering physical products can also be quite significant in case of e-commerce. A lot of phone calls and e-mails may be required till you get your desired products. However, returning the product and getting a refund can be even more troublesome and time consuming than purchasing, in case if you are not satisfied with a particular product.
Thus, on evaluating the various pros and cons of electronic commerce, we can say that the advantages of e-commerce have the potential to outweigh the disadvantages. A proper strategy to address the technical issues and to build up customers trust in the system, can change the present scenario and help e-commerce adapt to the changing needs of the world.

Despite these challenges, companies large and small are quickly integrating online marketing into their marketing mixes. As is continues to grow, online marketing is a powerful tool for building customer relationship, improving sales, communicating company and product information, and delivering products and services more efficiently and effectively.

d) Current situation of e-commerce marketing strategies in Cyprus
To give broader insight in usage of Internet and e-commerce in Cyprus, below statistics are presented. In May, 2005 – Internet usage by Cypriots is below the European Union average, and businesses on the island are also lagging behind, according to figures released by Eurostats. Based on figures for the first quarter of 2004, Eurostat says 32 percent of Cypriots between 16 and 74 years use the Internet while the EU average is at 47 per cent. Eighty-two percent of Cypriot businesses use the Internet, among the lowest EU level, which is on average 89 percent.

In Cyprus the internet is used more by men, with 36 per cent, as opposed to 28 per cent among women, a trend that exists throughout the EU member states with the exception of Finland and Estonia. It comes as no surprise that it is more popular among youngsters. An average of 75 per cent or two thirds of people aged 16 to 24 used the internet.

November 15, 2006 – Internet e-commerce is still small in Cyprus. Only 7% of Cypriot enterprises that use the internet actually accepted orders via the internet in 2006, although this was higher than the 5.1% reported in 2005 according to the annual ‘Information and Communication Technologies Usage and E-Commerce in Enterprises’ survey.

At the same time, a parallel household survey found that only 6.7% of individuals ordered products over the internet, although this was higher than the 5.1% recorded in 2005. These individuals ordered mainly books, magazines, newspapers and e-Learning material.

Regarding e-Government, businesses are interacting more with the government online. Business using the Internet for interaction with public authorities (mainly obtaining information) increased from 39.5% in 2005 to 44.3% in 2006.

In general, computer and internet usage in business is widespread: 94.5% of enterprises used a computer in January 2006. Among small enterprises of 10-49 employees (which is around 95% of all enterprises in Cyprus) there was an increase in computer usage from 92.8% in 2005 to 93.6% in 2006, as well as in internet usage, from 82.1% in 2005 to 83.7% in 2006.

The survey on households found a significant increase (from a very low base) in Internet broadband connections, from 4.5% in 2005 to 12.1% in 2006, while the proportion with any kind of internet access from home rose from 31.7% to 36.7%.

The total percentage of households with a computer was 51.9% in 2006, while 40.9% of individuals aged 16-74 used a computer and 33.8% used the Internet during the first quarter of 2006.

3. METHODOLOGY
Research is ongoing process, which is continues and changing. The purpose of this study is to identify how effectiveness of internet marketing strategies uses by Cyprus Tourism Organization.
The objective of research area:
* Current Web Marketing System of Cyprus.
* CTO’s E-Marketing Overviews.
* To identify whether Cyprus has the potential and necessary characteristics to attract the internet marketing.
This chapter begins with an analysis of the importance of secondary and primary data then explains why both of them were used and in which way. Finally, some limitations that the researchers faced were discussed.

Secondary Data Collection:
As Churchill (1991) mentioned, first attempts at data collection should logically focus on secondary data. Secondary data are statistics/information not gathered for the immediate study at hand but for other purposes (Churchill, 1991; Malhorta, 1993). Secondary data are easily accessible, relatively inexpensive, and quickly obtained (Clark ET. Al. 1998; Veal, 1991). On the other hand, because secondary data have been collected for other than the study at hand, their usefulness to the current situation may be limited in many important ways, including relevancy and accuracy (Clark et. al. 1998; Malhotra, 1993; veal, 1991).
For this project secondary data is in the following
* The annual reports of Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO).
* Strategic plan for tourism by CTO
* The Federal government
* Material published by Ioannis Pantelidis (London Metropolitan University) and Mariana Sigala, The presentation of E-tourism; the Cyprus Tourism Organization’s Action Plan by Phoebe Katsouris.
* Books on E-commerce and Tourism
* Websites of Spain and Poland to compare
* State government
* Statistic agencies
* Trade association
* General business publication
* Magazine and newspaper
* Annual report
* Academic publications
* Library sources
* Computerized publication
* World wide website.

Primary Data Collection
Primary research involves the collection of original data using an accepted research methodology. Primary data are data originated by the researcher for the specific purpose of addressing the research problem (Malhotra, 1993). The process of collecting primary data is individual tailored, the cost is high, and the collecting time is long.
Since the project sought to explore the current situation in Cyprus in terms of internet marketing strategy development, the primary information obtained was quantitative. In the research, questionnaire survey was used, which involves the gathering of information from individuals using a formally designed schedule of questions called a questionnaire or interview schedule.
The questionnaire surveys were included is in the following:

* Objective results
* Complex information in easy understood form
* Providing opportunity to study change over time, using comparable methodology
* Ensuring that a complete picture of a person’s patterns of participation is obtained

Analyzing data: The main secondary data were obtained mainly from CTO (Cyprus Tourism Organization).
Internet marketing strategy of CTO is a crucial turning point of its development as because of thus far Cyprus has discovered mass tourism destination around the world with extreme and lovely atmosphere. The hospitality products and services are similar standard with comparison other European country for instance UK, Spain, Poland, Greece. Based on the results of the overall analysis done and the supporting technology related projects, within the context of its vision for e-Marketing CTO should be transformed into a knowledge organization and a knowledge hub for the tourism industry as a whole, the tourists and its employees and CTO should increase its internal as well as external communications and become more and more interactive through e-channel optimization.

4. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS

Question 1: What are the strengths of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Answer: Tourism greatly influences regional development, social, economic and demographic environment and with major changes taking place in international tourism. Competition is growing faster than the pool of tourists. Solid e-commerce mechanism in tourism sectors only can provide competitive advantages to a country. The Cyprus current CTO adopted e-commerce provides the following advantage:
* CTO e-commencer enables web product promotion through its portal.
* Web customer communications becomes easier by the e-commerce than before.
* Online Web base booking (e-booking) that is provide directly through the web portal of CTO make it more convenient for the tourist by its web portal
* Internet sector has any significant degree of competition in Cyprus mean lots of ISP exist in the market which is good sign for the e-commerce business of CTO.
* E-commerce enables tourist to get enormous banking facilities as such as trnsfer monet between one accounts to another, credit card, visa card etc on the basis of the e-commerce structure in Cyprus.

Question 2: What are the weaknesses of e-commerce strategies used by the CTO?
Answer: In order to reduce the weakness of E-commerce the CTO has taken some major steps to improve IT system and e-commerce technologies. Those are the identification of some weakness of e-commerce of CTO in Cyprus is as follows:
* The primary tools to growth and make profitability in the tourism sector in Cyprus needs a holistic approach in terms of exploration/exploitation of e-Marketing opportunities. CTO currently dose not has any holistic approach to apply in terms of exploration/exploitation of e-Marketing opportunities. It means that CTO should address not only strategic opportunities but process opportunities to create a more effective, stable and sustainable business infrastructure
* To support the goal of e-Marketing strategy, creates market demands and generates new business opportunities CTO needs to establishing new channels, create new values, extending boundaries, establish CTO, as the Center of excellence for guidance, market rules setting and information dissemination and Provide the capability for individuals to plan and manage their own program but also to e-mediaries to excel through the e-marketing support capabilities which’s CTO dose not has yet.
* CTO currently dose not have nay solid e-marketing frame work to communicate the e-marketing related critical areas with a clear focus as such as website, intranet, e-Branding, e-Trading and info kiosks. Thus CTO can not communicate information regarding the critical areas to the international tourist.
* CTO can not provide the minimum information to the tourist through the web portal to facilitate the e-commerce business as such as road finder map, contact info, weather report, company information and exchange etc.

Question 3: What can be done to improve Internet marketing strategies of CTO?
Strategic action plan for the implementation of e-marketing in CTO:
Strategic action plan for the implementation of E-Marketing is shown by the following diagram.

* E-Marketing Manager Responsible for developing and implementing broad range activities in the e-Marketing function. Responsible for market research, competitive analysis, acquisition opportunities, product development and business opportunities. Liaises with CTO’s Marketing Unit and other departments and managers when appropriate.
* IT Officer: Directs and controls the IT for the e-Marketing unit, including systems development, operation and support of the infrastructure in support of e-Marketing business objectives. Responsible for the data and system administration. Liaises with users play a key role in setting IT strategy.
* Tourist Officer (e-Marketing): Overall control of the e-marketing operations and functions. Develops and improves the Organisation’s image in e- marketing sector.
* Tourist Officer (Content): Develops and improves content for e-Marketing needs. Oversees all aspects of web content with emphasis on customer (web users) preferences.
* Assistant Marketing Officer(s): The generic marketing assistant role supports one or several of the more specific functions within the e-Marketing unit.
Others factor which need to be considered in order to be improved internet marketing strategies of CTO.

E-Booking system:
An e-Booking system is an online web-based booking service that is provided directly through the Web. At the same time, it enables hotels and other tourism service-providers to accept instant and real-time reservations. The system can be designed in order to manage all type of bookings, whether made directly by tourists or through travel agents, tour operators, hotels or other tourism service-providers. Hence, CTO will be able to act as an intermediary between tourists, who would like to make on-line travel reservations and any tourism service-provider who would like to promote its services/products. In this framework, CTO’s e-Booking system can either be seamlessly integrated into the existing CTO’s website or will function as a separate but dynamically driven website using an ASP model. Another option for CTO is to become an affiliate member with existing online travel service-providers in Cyprus without having to proceed with the implementation of a separate or integrated e-Booking system.

Marketing Management Information System (MMIS):
Marketing Management system will provide CTO’s executives with an overview of the marketing disciplines and a framework that will present marketing as a value creation process. Participants will learn how to evaluate marketplace potential and risk from the perspective of the organization’s unique ability to develop and deliver information and services of meaningful tourist value. The system should explore the principal concepts and tools of contemporary marketing management, from market segmentation and service positioning to the design of distribution channels and communications strategy, in order to maximize the value delivered to tourists. CTO’s executive team will be in a better position to:
• Analyze and understand tourist’s needs and personal behavior
• Understand marketing program development and implementation
• Comprehend their roles in a fully integrated, strategic marketing plan
• Perceive how CTO captures value through marketing initiatives

Geographical Information System:
The use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the Internet has changed the way organizations use geographic information, the processes of accessing, sharing disseminating and analyzing data. The proposed GIS should be a visual and analytical tool that will help CTO to understand, visualize and export its geographic information in interactive web-based maps via the Portal, information kiosks, mobile devices, etc. and enable tourists to manage this information interactively and analytically in order to plan and undertake a trip or to make a potential decision. Using the system, CTO will be also able to integrate tourism information, visualize complex scenarios, present powerful ideas and derive effective solutions which would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

Question 4: Which ideas of Internet marketing strategies of other countries (Spain) can the CTO use in the future?
In order to answer this question, it is a wise criteria comparing Cyprus with a similar destination when it comes to marketing strategies used. With this goal, we have chosen the Canary Islands, as far as we can find several similarities between them:

First of all, we are talking about islands, which mean certain of problems because influences in prices and transportation; also they have a similar weather, although the Canary Islands, due to them particular position in the Atlantic Ocean, have a similar weather during the whole year; both are in the European Union; and finally, it is also important pointing out that people characters and food are similar.

When it comes to analyze how the tourist products are planned in the Canary Islands, we can appreciate, just by looking in the following link, http://www.turismodecanarias.com/islas-canarias-espana/ that they use a global image “Canary Islands” and that they offer basically 4 different products: water sports experience, wellness delight, volcanic experience and family welcome.

Water sports experience is focused on tourist that come to the islands to practicing aquatic sports such as windsurfing, surf, sailing, kitesurfing, diving and deep-sea fishing.

Wellness delight is designed for people who come to the islands to combine relaxation, sport, health, good food and contact with the natural environment. So the Canaries offer different fitness ideas, depending on the time of year in which the tourists decide to visit the islands. For example, in summer clients can choose between activities such as aqua-gym, Pilates and aerobics and in winter, there is nordic / power walking or Tai Chi. Or for those looking for sports in opened areas, the offering contains an enormous variety of activities such as excursions, hiking and cycle routes to the most seductive destinations or hang gliding.

Family welcome this option is for tourists who come to the archipelago looking for a ample sun and beach offer combined with an endless list of activities suitable for all ages and with a select range of accommodation equipped with safe and modern infrastructures ideal for children.

Volcanic experience: finally here we find a list of activities that explode the potential that the Canaries have when it comes to volcanic diversity; so mainly, this product is related with the volcanic landscapes of the different islands; it also combines the possibility of trying the local gastronomy, visiting cultivated landscapes, vineyards, country paths mixed with accommodation in charming establishments and the performance of extraordinary activities in the open air, such as star gazing in the clear skies. It includes also sport activities like hiking, paragliding, caving, climbing and ravines.

In this new page, the tourism ministry of the Canary Islands, being aware of the importance that social networks and web sites as trip advisor or flicker have in nowadays society (2.0.web in conclusion), has included in the page links where people can see comments that other visitors have made about the destination or the hotels attached with their personal pictures. Also the web page offers the possibility of booking hotels through it.

Referring to promotion actions, the islands basically try to attract tourist from the Nordic countries in winter, as far as the islands have a really kind winter if we compared it with the kind of weather that this target markets have to face when the winter arrives in their countries. This is one aspect that we can observe in the last Promotion Campaign for the winter in the Canary Islands launched by the Canary Tourism Ministry under the title “Say No to WinterBlues” (for seeing the video, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zG-NFN1uCQ)

Until now, the campaigns have worked, actually Canary Islands´ peak period is the winter one (from October to April), and during the rest of the year, the common thing is to treat with national tourists basically looking for a close destination with good weather in summer.

When it comes to analyze Cyprus Tourism Organization web page, we can find several similarities if we compare it with the one that the Canary Tourism Ministry created for the archipelago. The page is divided into:

* Conference and incentives: product offer mainly to associations and corporations that can find in Cyprus the perfect place for performing a meeting.
* Sport and Leisure: form by an ample offer of water sports and mountain activities.
* Health and wellbeing: an offer focus on the variety of spa establishments that we can find around the island together with the offer of healthy sports like Pilates, fitness…
* Weddings and Honeymoons: a product designed for this specific target market which usually looks for high quality of services and the most exclusive hotels.
* Rural and Nature: a product for nature, photography or painting lovers performing activities in opened spaces.
* Golf: product for golfers it includes visits to clubhouses for practicing facilities and carry out individual lessons. Product that wants to attract as well the spouses and family of the players.
* Cruises and Learning: a product for people who visit the island by cruise ships and that are interested in sightseeing activities which will allow them to know more about the beauties of Cyprus during the short period of time that they usually spend in the island.

Each of these options offer the possibility of booking those services attending to visitors needs and also it contents an e-brochure with information referring to each of the products that we pointed out above. Also it offers the possibility of using 2.0 web tools such as twitter, Facebook, or sharing videos with other users. Also, as the Canary Islands, they have created a profile on Facebook where people can join and be informed about important events that will have place in the island.

As we can see, the page has a good structure and all the offers are related with the kind of tourists that they want to attract; however, Cyprus is facing a decrease in the number of visitors year by year, which means that although they have the necessary resources to become a popular destination, public organizations are not able to understand the real needs of consumers and satisfy them properly. From our point of view, it seems that promotion actions are not causing effect on the target markets. This is the last video that under the slogan “I love Cyprus” tries to attract visitors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQBonGR8Was.
Here we can see that the video precisely tries to show the others possibilities that the island offers to the visitants like cycling, promenades, sightseeing and of course, the sun and beach offer. But people are still coming to Cyprus to enjoy the typical sun and beach.

In the following video which was recorded at the end of the year 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOHBSxNJvXU, a representative of the CTO is talking about why Cyprus is an attractive destination for tourists, especially for British ones, (the strengths of Cyprus as a destination); future plans that were going to be performed to improve the destination´s facilities in the following 2 and 3 years and what objectives that they would like to reach with the following promotion campaigns. Now we will break down those aspects:

Strengths of Cyprus as a destination mentioned in the video (especially attractive for British segment)
– Good weather during the whole year
– Language facilities: people speak English and all signs and indicators are in this language
– Driving on the left side of the road
– People have a friendly character
– The island has the most clean bathing waters of Europe
– Good infrastructure: resorts and beaches with a good level of comfort, cycling roads and coastal promenades

Objectives mentioned in the video that the new campaigns will try to reach in the next years.
In this video the representative from the CTO also was high lighting some of the objectives that they are trying to reach through new marketing actions:
First of all the CTO is trying to attract tourist during the whole year, not only in summer (June, July and August), pointing out that Cyprus is a crowded destination during this months and that it has more to offer that just sun and beach, for example, she mentioned that the island can offer a big variety of experiences like spa offers, trips in the forests, sightseeing in the cities in order to promote cultural value or cycling.

In the video, the interviewer asked about the number of visitors expected for 2010 and his concerned about the environmental impacts that this number of visitors can cause in the island; for facing this question she mentioned that the Cypriot government is trying to invest in green products and that establishments are applying for “green certifications”

But in this video, specifically in the last part, we can realize that most of the objectives that the CTO planned to develop for the followings years have not been carried out even now that we are in 2010; for example, she talked about building a terminal in Paphos that should be finished in summer of 2008 which is not even ready to be finished 3 years after; and also she was talking about building more golf courses after talking about the environmental impacts that tourism cause in the island and the government policies to minimized those aspects.

From the video we can see that from the CTO´s side, an effort is being made to transform the current image of the island into a new one that tries to emphasize the other elements from the islands apart from what sun and beach have meant during all these previous years. But for changing the situation, important actions should be perform, promotion actions can´t communicate a fake image of the destination or tourist will be disappointed after their visit and they will never come back again. If we are selling through promotion actions almost the paradise, tourists will expect to find it; and problems with transportation (lack of regular schedules for buses, bad conditions of roads and public transport equipments, absence of adequate pedestrian roads…) or problems with infrastructures (accommodation establishments that don´t reach the basic standards of quality, public equipment such as bathrooms, change rooms or showers in bad conditions, lack of adequate equipment for handicap people in public spaces and also in private properties…) are serious inconveniences that can cause the lost of our clients.

So clearly there is a lack of communication between what the CTO pretends to perform to reach the objectives and what the Government is ready to perform to reach them. Cooperation between these organisms is the key for reaching the proposed goals.

5. CONCLUSIONS

The following conclusions represent the researchers’ own beliefs. They represent theoretical solution in the sense that they have not been tested in practice, which means that it is not possible to determine whether they could be successful or not. However, researchers believe that it is worth considering these conclusions.
In our assignment, as states its topic, we tried to assess and judge the effectiveness of internet marketing strategies used by Cyprus Tourism Organization. First of all, after giving a brief introduction regarding our research, readers were made familiar with basic information about the nature of e-commerce, its pros and cons and also its current situation in Cyprus. Methodology of our project is included to give an insight into sources we used to create it. The most important part, which is a base for the conclusion of the research, represents chapter 4 in which advantages and disadvantaged of e-commerce strategies used by CTO are included, as well as, implementation plan of improvements which could implemented and suggestions and new ideas taken from e-commerce marketing strategies of Canary Islands. What our research proves is that CTO developed so far a really good Web site, promoting the island as an ideal holiday destination and the booking base is a great convenience for tourists. It is also worth to mention that via the Web page CTO may receive immediate feedback from potential visitors. On the other hand there still exist fields, which CTO should take into consideration. The most important is to implement a solid marketing campaign which highlights and gives more attention to historical heritage of Cyprus. This would probably enable Cyprus to be attractive not only for typical holiday makers, but also for more sophisticated tastes. What we strongly recommend to CTO, is considering e-commerce strategies used by Canary Islands. The biggest improvement can be made in terms of diversify the offer; as a touristic destination, it´s necessary guarantee a regular level of tourist during the whole year; for this, other kind of activities can be offer in the island, it is not a good practice concentrate the offer only in summer. Diversification is the key to face the lack of business during that period of time when weather conditions do not allow tourists to enjoy the typical sun and beach holidays.
6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/sports-tourism-cyprus-study-international-visitors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQBonGR8Was.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUrGBziDZo4&feature=related

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Churchill, G. A. J. (1976): Marketing Research: Methodological Foundations, 5th edition. Chicago: The Dryden Press.

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”Internet marketing”, Mary Lou Roberts, McGraw-Hill Irwin