ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Tourists walk by the Italian cruise ship Diva in Marmaris on the Aegean coast. AA photo
The number of cruise ships that docked at Turkey’s ports has increased 83 percent, while the number of passengers who came to the country on those ships has climbed 276 percent in last nine years.
Cruise ship tourism, which attracts high income people, has grown about 10 percent every year.
The number of tourists coming to Turkey by cruise ship has recorded a year-on-year increase of 10.8 percent in 2004, 17.4 percent in 2005, 34.1 percent in 2006, 34.6 percent in 2007 and 17.3 percent in 2008. It recorded a 7.5 percent fall in 2009 due to the global economic crisis. The figure increased by 15 percent in 2010 and finally by 18 percent last year.
The number of cruise ships visiting Turkey was 887 carrying a total of 582,000 passengers in 2003. The figures hit 1,623 cruise ships carrying 2.2 million passengers as of the end of 2011.
During the first five months of this year a total of 300 cruise ships brought 353,000 tourists to Turkey.
Istanbul, the western ports of İzmir, Kuşadası, Bodrum and Marmaris, and the southern port of Antalya
are among the favorite destinations of cruise ships out of a total of 23 ports.