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Blue Cruise at south Aegean

Anatolian News Agency: Muğla | 7/12/2009 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey's highly lucrative 'blue cruises' are in danger of going extinct thanks to development and construction in the South Aegean region of the country.

[HH] Blue Cruises in South Aegean

Anatolian News Agency: Muğla

Filiz Dizdar, spokesperson for Blue Cruise Innovative said there should be no construction in bays in order to keep “blue cruises” alive. Dizdar told the Anatolian News Agency that they have been working against the structuring at bays. “Fill areas, illegal housing, construction at bays; they all hurt blue cruises, Bodrum’s traditional touring style. We are trying to fight that, provide sustainable tourism and keep the bays available for blue cruises by protecting nature.”

Dizdar said Kisse Bükü Bay is the starting and ending point of blue cruise and added that it is facing the danger of construction. Dizdar said they are going to form a commission against construction among the civil society organizations of Bodrum because this may bring an end to hundreds of investors in Bodrum. “This area is the door to the blue cruise. A hotel to be built here is the end,” said Dizdar, adding that the bays left those already lost are vital and should be preserved. Dizdar said if the Yalıkavak, Gündoğan and Göltürkbükü areas of Bodrum become official tourism centers that would also have negative affects on blue cruises.

Marinas in the South Aegean are 100 percent filled by privately owned boats on blue cruises. There are four marinas around Marmaris with space for 3,500 yachts and the numbers are similar for Bodrum and Fethiye. Alongside the marinas, there are hundreds of bays that boats stop in while they cruise. Yacht tourism is approximately a quarter of Turkey’s tourism income. Executives in the sector say this rate may surpass 40 percent if Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye would have 2,000-2,500 more capacity at their marinas. According to the executives, thousands of yachts do not visit Turkey because their owners think they cannot find a place to anchor their boats and prefer Greece or Croatia instead.

The Governorship of Muğla came up with new precautions to prevent the boats on blue cruises from polluting the environment. The boats will receive a “blue card” and use it at the 30 dumping zones where they can empty their waste. This way, when and where the boats dump their waste will be on record.

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