Camelot Maritime Chairman Captain Emrah Yılmaz Çavuşoğlu, who stated that the Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea are rising values in cruise tourism, said, “Sustainable investments are needed in cruise tourism. If the public and private sectors make the necessary investments, Turkey will have a century, and it will also be the century of cruising!”
With its azure seas, unique bays, and top-notch technical infrastructure in its ports, Turkey is becoming a true cruise paradise and is on its way to becoming one of the leading countries in cruise tourism. In the first five months of 2023, the number of cruise ships docking in our ports increased by 43.1% compared to the same period last year. The number of cruise passengers also increased by 114% compared to the same period last year.
Kuşadası Port Leads, Istanbul Follows
Turkey, with its infrastructure services and technical equipment in various important cruise ports, stands out among the countries that have recently excelled in cruise tourism. Kuşadası Port is the most preferred port for cruise companies in our country, followed by Istanbul ports. Emrah Yılmaz Çavuşoğlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Camelot Maritime, the first company operating a foreign-owned passenger ship in Turkey, said, “The opening of Istanbul Galataport Port in the last quarter of 2021 has also improved the quality of our cruise ports. Çeşme and Bodrum ports are also among our leading ports.”
There’s a 66.7% Increase
Çavuşoğlu stated that in 2022, 993 cruise ships came to our country, and the number of cruise passengers in the same year was 1,010,767. He also mentioned that in the evaluation for 2022, the number of cruise passengers, which was 88,566 in April, increased to 176,840 in May, 183,407 in June, and 209,033 in July. Çavuşoğlu, Chairman of Camelot Maritime, said, “While 341,556 cruise passengers came to our country in the May-June-July period last year, this year, in the same period, this number increased by 66.7% to 569,280. If the increases continue to rise like this, we expect it to exceed one million by the end of the year.”
Investments Must Be Sustainable
Çavuşoğlu emphasized that there is no other tourism destination that can offer all the beauties of the Mediterranean Basin and the unique features of the Black Sea simultaneously. He said, “As Camelot Maritime, we continuously emphasize the need for the private sector to invest in the maritime sector. We also emphasize on various platforms that not only the private sector but also the public sector should contribute to the private sector through investments. Another point we emphasize is the necessity of establishing a Ministry of Maritime in a country surrounded by seas on three sides. With the Ministry of Maritime to be established for maritime affairs, we anticipate that the sector will gain momentum.”
The Rising Value of Cruising: The Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea
Çavuşoğlu mentioned that cruise tourism is a rapidly developing type of tourism worldwide, which brings significant income to the country and the city where it is located and appeals to the middle and upper-income groups. He said, “Until recent years, North America, South America, and tropical islands were prominent among cruise destinations. Nowadays, the Far East, the Polar Regions, the Baltic Sea Region, the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea, the Black Sea, and especially the Mediterranean Region are standing out in terms of marketing strategy and creating new routes in cruise destinations. The Mediterranean Basin, as a rising star, has become the favorite of cruise tourism in recent years. If we can make the right investments sustainable, Turkey can make the century of cruising.