Turkish people might be the most frequent visitors to North Cyprus but certainly not the only visitors because in 2013, so people from the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands visited North Cyprus. These four countries were the top four whose nationalities stayed in the tourist accommodation establishments (see Table 8 ).
Table 8: No. of arrivals by nationalities (excluding Turkey and T.R.N.C) (2012 – 2013)
2012 47,594 26,579 24,754 5,533 22,014 18,686 13,108 7,893 95,520 261,681
2013 54,165 25,579 40,161 4,203 14,740 17,475 15,121 12,608 125,421 309,445
Source: Directorate of Police (2015) 
4.3.2. North Cyprus major attractions
The major reasons why people visit North Cyprus can be grouped into three namely; tourism purposes, Casino gambling and special medical services;
1. Casino gambling purposes
With the efforts to revamp and modernize its hotels, North Cyprus has turned into a much sought-after new casino destination for gamblers. Every year hundreds and thousands of tourists visit North Cyprus to gamble. There are 25 casinos in North Cyprus with a total gaming tables stand at 438, with 4,663 slot machines with a minimum of 55 – 60 tournaments with no less than 10 of these competitions been televised on foreign TV stations, and prizes range from $1.5 million to $4 million. These tournaments have a huge impact on the economy of North Cyprus. Around 5,000 people are employed by the sector with an average employee earning up to $1,750 per month and the government of North Cyprus yearly gets $2,000 in taxes per table at the casinos and $200 in charges per machine. The casino sector alone has generated in revenue $600 million for North Cyprus economy .
Presently most of the casino gamblers come from Turkey; this is so because casino gambling is illegal in their country. A lot of efforts are been made to attract rich customers from countries like Qatar, Lebanon and Kuwait; but transportation has been the major obstacle. Casino gamblers love luxury a lot which is why the largest portion of a casino’s expenditures comes from the purchase of alcohol and cigarettes, this account to about 70% of the total expenditures .
Along with the casino gambling operations in North Cyprus is the proliferation of the sex industry. The night clubs, pubs, massage parlors and kahyehanes are the major types of sex outlets involved in this industry. Although prostitution is illegal in North Cyprus; however these night clubs and pubs are licensed to serve alcohol and employ the services of women known as konsomatrices (there are about 336 formally licensed konsomatrices who are employed). These women are allowed by the law to eat and drink with customers at a nightclub after which they get paid. They are not allowed to practice prostitution but they sometimes engage in sex acts for money in and outside the nightclub premises .
2. Special medical service purposes
The health care services in North Cyprus can be compared to many other developed countries in the world. North Cyprus has been a favorite destination for good health seekers worldwide especially in the area of fertility. Infertility has been one of the main reasons behind many divorces in families but luckily because of the advancement in technology today, people can get babies by vitro fertilization treatment (IVF), this treatment has been very popular in many developed countries like the UK and the US but so far most opt for North Cyprus to see specialists and get the treatment rather than going to these other countries because it offer the best service with the most affordable price. The fees charged by the other countries can double or even triple the charges obtainable in North Cyprus. There are also other medical treatments relating to fertility such as gender selection, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, egg donation etc that are obtainable in North Cyprus.
3. Tourism (holiday) purposes
North Cyprus is historically and strategically located, at the crossroads between East and West. It has been under the ruler ship of many civilizations and each of which left their marks on its cultural heritage prior to the division. Traces of a historic and cultural heritage in North Cyprus go back 10,000 years ago. The first signs of human occupation on the island date from 8,000 B.C. Since the Neolithic period, marks have been left by civilizations including the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, the Ptolemaic Dynasty, Persians, Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and the British. All these ancient ruins and cultural heritage are some of the reasons why tourists flow in their thousands to North Cyprus all year around.
North Cyprus is home to many fascinating and intriguing sights which endear so many tourists to the island every year some of which are listed below;
• Kyrenia harbor and castle
• Castles – St. Hilarion Castle, Buffavento Castle and Kantara Castle
• Walled City of Nicosia – The walled city of Nicosia is home to the Selimiye Mosque also known as St. Sophia Cathedral, the Great Inn, the Great Turkish Bath, a historic shop called Bandabulya Bazaar and at the historic heart of the city is the Ataturk Square.
• Walled City of Famagusta – home to a magnificient Gothic-style mosque called Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque and the Othello Tower
• Salamis ruins
• Bellapais village
• Apostolos Andreas Monastery, Karpas National Park and Cape Apostolos Andreas
Beaches are another enjoyable and important feature of North Cyprus. They are found throughout the coastline from the west to the east. The beaches in North Cyprus consist of the luxurious seaside resort to the remote un-spoilt golden stretches of sand. Listed below are some of the beaches in North Cyprus;
• The northern coast – this is a swarming with many golden beaches, home to many seaside hotels and clubs like Acapulco hotel, Escape beach, Cornaro Beach Club, Kaplica and Tatlisu.
• Karpaz peninsula – home to the Golden beach and Bafra.
• Eastern coast – home to Palm beach and Glapsides beach
• The Dilirga region – contains many beaches including Aspava restaurant’s beach.
There are a lot of touristic activities in North Cyprus ranging from water sports to mountain climbing and even turtle watching. Below are some activities;
• Water sports – includes scuda diving, windsurfing, jetskiing, waterskiing and sailing
• Festivals – some of which are the Bellapais Music festival, the Watermelon Festival, the Guzelyurt Orange Festival, the Karpaz Grape Festival, Zeytinlik Olive Festival etc.
• Boat tours
• Hiking and trekking
• Bird watching
• Turtle watching
4.4. North Cyprus As A Tourist Destination
As mentioned earlier in the literature review concerning destination attributes towards tourists’ satisfaction, these are unique things about a destination that puts lasting memories in the minds of the tourists that make them want to revisit or recommend to others. Most destinations make a lot of investment as to put in place or upgrade some of these features in order to attract more tourists. North Cyprus as a tourist destination is bless naturally with most of these features while some it made some investment as to improve them. Below are some of the basic destination features;
The island of Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sardinia and Sicily. The island is at the crossroads of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. North Cyprus is nearly one third of the whole island with a total area of 3,515 square kilometer. It is about 242 kilometer wide and 64 kilometer deep.
The present shape of the island is caused by the effects of side pressures during different geological ages. Capes and gulfs have been formed where the land was stronger against the erosion of the sea and where the land is weaker against the erosion of the sea respectively. There are two capes (Zafer cape and Korucam cape) and two golfs which are at Guzelyurt and Famagusta.
North Cyprus is blessed with astonishing range of mountains located in Girne district known as the Kyrenia Mountains or Five Finger Mountains. These mountains spread over an area of about 260 square miters, comprising mainly of limestone, dolomite and marble. Its highest point is called Mount Selvili at about 1,023meters. It has a spring very close to it, which is the largest spring in North Cyprus.
The coastline of north Cyprus consists of romantic coves, long golden sandy beaches and rocky coast. The beaches are among the cleanest, most natural and safest compared to others in the Mediterranean. The average water temperature is 24 degree centigrade between the months of May and October.
The plains are vast and beautiful. The Guzelyurt village has a lot of citrus fields which provides goods for exportation and production of fresh squeezed juices almost all year round. There is the Mesaoria plain located in the centre of the island, between the Five Finger Mountains in the north and the Troodos Mountains in the south which produces wheat, barley and oats.
Environment is said to be a major factor in attracting tourists and visitors to a destination. Luckily for North Cyprus nature has given it such great gifts, one of the major attractions to North Cyprus is its environment. There are a number of National Parks which are populated with different kinds of animals such as turtles, wild donkeys; birds etc. there are also rare flora and beautiful beaches too. You can find miles of deserted sandy beaches, ancient towns, basilicas, ruins and tombs .
Varieties of flora can be seen in North Cyprus especially in spring season that is late February through the end of April unlike the variety of wildlife which is low but there are still many interesting species which live in harmony with agriculture since there is no intensive farming practice in North Cyprus.
There are several caves in North Cyprus some of which are natural and some are man- made. The Hot Cave (warm water emanates from the cave) located on the southern slopes of the Kyrenia Mountains is a collapsed natural formation. There are more natural caves such as the Guvercinlik cave, Inciril cave – which is said to be the most beautiful of them all and some others located in Famagusta region. Gastro cave is a man – made cave, it has three rooms and there is the ominously named Execution cave located near Kaleburnu.
4.4.3. Weather and Climate
North Cyprus appreciates ordinary Mediterranean climate with lengthy, dry and warm summers from May to October and mellow and wet winters starting from December to February. The remaining seasons of the year are the spring and autumn which is short. The summer is characterized with hot weather, high temperatures and cloudless sky but pleasant sea breeze in coastal areas of the island, the hottest temperatures ranges from 34 to 40 degrees centigrade mostly between July and August while the coldest temperatures ranges between 7 to 15 degrees centigrade. There is very little rainfall and snowfall this is mainly due to the high altitudes caused by the Kyrenia Mountains.
4.4.4. Transportation and Accessibility
Good and efficient transportation sector play vital role in the tourism industry. Visitors should be able to enter the country and also be able to move around easily. Air transport is a major means of entry into North Cyprus; it has two airports which are the Ercan international airport and the Gecitkale airport but although only the Ercan is functional. Direct flights to the country and the trade traffic through the ports are restricted because of the embargo placed on them. Only turkey and Azerbaijan recognize the airports. Direct and charter flights take place from other countries but must stopover in turkey.
There is no available railway system in North Cyprus making the highways the major means of transportation between major cities. The roads are mostly dual carriageways, paved and neatly maintained. A good inexpensive network of buses that operates between all the main towns; also for visitors, many taxis or rent-a-car services are available at the airport as well as at major towns.
North Cyprus has two main ports in Gazimağusa and Girne where ferryboat companies operate regular services to Turkey. Trade to TRNC is mainly carried out via Gazimağusa port. In addition to Girne Yacht Harbour and Gemyat Delta Marina (in Kyrenia New Harbour), Ercan Airport recently built Kar-paz Gate Marina in Karpas Peninsula has an ideal location to host around 300 yachts from many countries of the world, besides offering various other facilities.
The country operates a left hand drive system, traffic and road signs are of international standards with maximum speed of 100kph. Seat belts are mandatory and drivers are prohibited to drive under the influence of alcohol. Pedestrian lanes are provided for easy walking around in the towns
Food in North Cyprus is very tasty and has so many varieties; from succulent kebabs to mouthwatering meze and sweet, sticky desserts.
North Cyprus cuisine is a combination different traditional cuisine of other countries such as Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, France, Italy, Syria and Armenia; this is so because not only is north Cyprus strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and north Africa but also many civilizations which defeated the island left behind some traces in the foods which are still enjoyed even till today .
Table 9: some of the local food specialties of North Cyprus
Seftali kebab (a brand of local sausage) Lamb
Helium cheese (usually served grilled) Goats’ milk or sheep’s milk
Halloumi cheese (usually served grilled) Goats’ milk or sheep’s milk
Pilavuna (a savory bread) Cheese, egg, milk and raisins
The basic trend for a traditional meal service in North Cyprus are the small cold and hot dishes called Meze accompanied by freshly-caught fish or succulent kebabs.
Table 9 shows some specialties to look at for when visiting North Cyprus, they are traditional made too;
People who like sweet things can also enjoy syrupy Lokma, little doughnut-style balls doused in honey and tidied with cinnamon. There is also Lokum, or Turkish delight which come in different mouth-watering flavors.
Drinks are not left out; coffee in North Cyprus is very thick usually Turkish coffee presented with a customary Cypriot specialty known as ‘Macun’ sweet preserves – made from walnut, quince, and sour orange. The local tipple is brandy sour. The cocktail is said to have been designed in 1947 for the visit of King Farouk of Egypt who would not like to be seen publicly drinking liquor. The rim of the glass is dipped in lemon juice or pomegranate syrup and then in sugar. Brandy is mixed with lemonade and soda and served with a slice of lemon. There is also the Zivania, one of the most important local drinks made from grape with different varieties some are up to 95% alcohol content. Wine production is not a notable feature of North Cyprus but they have two well known ones known as the Aphrodite and Kantara. Other drinks that are very popular are the locally produced Raki and Efes beers.
4.4.6. Arts and Culture
The cultural heritage of the Cyprus before the division of the Island stretches back to more than 9000 years ago; however after the division North Cyprus has found itself fitting into the image of Turkey in different aspects such as name changing, life style and culture .
Just like other cultures of different countries in the world, North Cyprus culture can best be seen in ceremonies and special occasions such as weddings, feast days known as Ramazan, birth, naming ceremonies etc. There is regular organization of festivals comprising of both local and international bands and singers. The local music in North Cyprus is the folk music which consists of a rich variety of local tunes; the folk music can be divided into two main groups: the turkus and oyun havalari music. The dances are done in ceremonious occasions and performed in a sequential order ranging from meeting dances, henkerchief dances, “zeybek” dance, women dances, dramatic dances and butcher dances .
The traditional hand crafts of north Cyprus include Yemeni (traditional head scarf), lace-work of Lefkara (this is one of the most important of them all), Hesap works, silk works, plant knitting and hand-woven kilims. Hospitality is a major characteristic of the Turkish Cypriots.
In North Cyprus, municipalities, NGOs, higher institutions and many other associations regularly organize local and international festivals and eco-days which attract many tourists, foreigners that are living in North Cyprus and also local people. Some of which are; North Cyprus International Bellapais Music Festival, Gazimağusa International Culture and Arts Festival, International Cyprus Theatre Festival, Güzelyurt Orange Festival, İskele International Festival.
Obviously one of the most important elements in the tourism business is accommodation. The level of comfort, the price, the manner of services visitors derive has a lot to statement to make when it comes to hospitality; all these inputs lasting memories in the mind of the visitors which helps them to make decisions on revisiting or not. Accommodation is the temporary home for travelers. It ranges from simple sleeping places to luxury suites for dinning, entertainment, resting and sleeping. Visitors can stay overnight in any kind of lodging from an African tree house to a castle in Europe.
Hotel services rating differ globally, the rating of the hotel services in the United States of America will totally differ compared to those of Nigeria for instance; this means a 5 fives star hotel in a certain country could be seen as a 4 stars hotel in another. The hotels in North Cyprus are of international standards. The hotels ratings range from 5star to holidays villas with the prices ranging from $22 to $200 per night per room excluding taxes .
Table 10: The tourist accommodation system in North Cyprus (2014)
TYPES OF TOURIST ACCOMM. EST.
NO. OF UNITS
5 STAR 17 13 10,318 54
4 STARS 4 3 1,346 7
3 STARS 10 7 1,798 9
2 STARS 18 13 1,368 7
1 STARS 18 13 663 3
II. class holiday village 5 4 862 4
Boutique hotel 5 4 486 3
Special class hotel 1 1 34 0
Tourist bungalow 30 23 1,661 9
Apart hotel 2 1 96 0
Traditional house 3 2 96 0
Holiday home 1 1 102 1
Tourist guesthouse 17 13 218 1
Hotels not yet classified 1 1 120 1
Hotels not operating 1 1 108 1
Total 133 100 19,276 100
Source: K.K.T.C. tourism statistics (2015)
The number of tourist accommodation establishment with respect to total bed capacity in North Cyprus is 133 with a total bed capacity of 19,276. This figure comprises of 17 five-star hotels, 4 are four-star hotels, 10 are three-star hotels, 18 are two-star hotels, 18 are one-star hotels, five are class II holiday villages, five are boutique hotels, one is a special-class hotel, 30 are tourist bungalows, 2 are apart hotels, 3 are traditional houses, 1 is a holiday home and 17 are tourist guesthouses. Other establishments are not yet classified and one is not operating; both with a total bed capacity of 228.
These tourist accommodation establishments are not evenly located in all the five regions in North Cyprus; in fact Girne is home to 88 of the total figure, this amounts to 66% with bed capacity of 13,039 which also accounts to 67% of the total bed capacity followed by Iskele with 28 establishments that’ is 21%, then Gazimagusa with 9 units that is 7%, leaving Lefkosia and Guzelyurt with 4 each sharing the remaining 6%. The bed capacity in the regions of Gamzimagusa, Iskele, Lefkosa and Guzelyurt are 1,490, 3,810, 802 and 126 respectively .
The hotels are located in strategically beautiful places; some locations are very close to the sea and beaches, where their clients are entreated to beautiful views outside of their balconies. Most of the big hotels in north Cyprus have their own private beaches and casinos; they also provide tour services for tourists, spas, catering, gym etc. For a true North Cyprus local experience, staying in the holiday villages will be a beast bet, there are a lot of them located outside of the busy cities and mostly self catering.
This chapter described the methodology used in achieving the objectives of this study. It involves discussions on how data were collected, the area of study, the selection of sample and the procedure used to analyze the collected data. In this chapter, tourists’ demographic and travel behavioral characteristics were analyzed, an investigation into which destination attributes satisfies the tourists most was also made.
5.2. Study Area
An area of study can be defined as an enclosed or particular target of interest where data samples are collected or gathered from. In this study the area of study was North Cyprus.
There are five (5) districts in the Island but due to some constraints not all the five districts were visited. Data were mainly collected from Famagusta, Girne and Lefkosa which happen to be the major districts in the Island with Famagusta contributing slightly above 50% of the total questionnaires leaving the remaining percentage to be shared between Girne and Lefkosa. The reason for more data collected from Famagusta was mainly because the tourists who visited there were much more receptive compared to those who visited Girne and Lefkosa so it was far easier to get the work done.
5.3. Study Framework
This study in a bid to identify to what extent the international tourists were satisfied with North Cyprus tourism and also in identifying the relationships between the destination attributes and tourists’ satisfaction, analyzed different attributes, overall satisfaction, controlling for tourists’ demographic and travel behavior characteristics. The attributes of the study were carefully selected through the similar tourism literature review. In the review of the tourism literature, the selected attributes were critical and important ones affecting tourists’ satisfaction.
Also, through an analysis of past studies, this study chose tourists’ demographic characteristics (which includes country of origin, age, gender, level of education, employment status and annual income before tax), travel behavior characteristics (which includes duration of stay, source of information, type of visit, travel party etc) and destination attributes (which includes security/safety, accommodation quality, cleanliness, transportation, shopping, weather conditions etc.), in order to determine the differences in the contribution of attributes to tourists’ satisfaction.
5.4. Hypotheses of the study
For the purpose of analyzing the relationships between the different variables used in this study, three main hypotheses which were expressed in null forms were used. They are as follow;
Ho1: there is no statistically significant difference in tourist overall trip satisfaction as regards to tourists’ demographic characteristics.
Ho2: there is no statistically significant difference in tourist overall trip satisfaction as regards to tourists’ travel behavioral characteristics.
HO3: there is no relationship between tourists’ perceived loyalty and the derived tourists’ demographic/travel behavioral characteristics that influenced tourists’ overall trip satisfaction.
5.5. Study Design
The sample population for this study was derived from tourists who visited North Cyprus in August and September, in 2015. The survey was conducted over a 3-week period at different strategic places in the districts of Famagusta, Girne and Lefkosa that are frequently visited by tourists. Questionnaires distribution was carried out only during the daytime. Respondents were politely approached and informed about the reason for the study ahead of time before the survey were given to them, they were also asked if they wished to participate in the survey. Data were collected at these different strategic places randomly but with particular exception to those who appear to be below 18 years of age. However, tourists were selected at different times of the day. A total sample size of 464 was completed.
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