A global player for cruise ports from Turkey

A global player for cruise ports from Turkey

TAV is an important global brand in airport management, a brand that originated in Turkey. TAV Airports Holding has 14 local and international airports in its portfolio.

Recently it won the tenders for Bodrum Milas Airport’s domestic and international terminals. It manages several airports including ones in Croatia, Macedonia, Latvia, Tunisia, Georgia and Saudi Arabia and will participate in New York’s LaGuardia airport bid in June. It has sold 38 percent of its shares to Aeroport de Paris Group.

In the event that it wins LaGuardia, TAV’s portfolio will have 15 airports.

TAV Airports Holding, which serves 83 million passengers and 500,000 planes annually, is one of Turkey’s outstanding success stories. Of course, it sets an example for other Turkish companies eager to open up to the world. One of them is Global Ports Holding.

The aim of Global Ports Holding is world leadership in cruise ports. I had the opportunity to speak to the CEO of Global Ports Holding, Saygın Narin, this past weekend during the “Global Run” they organized in Bodrum. Global has been managing the Kuşadası Port since 2003. It later added Antalya and Bodrum to its portfolio.

It is the leader in the market by serving half of the 2 million cruise passengers visiting Turkey every year.
Narin said they wanted to carry the experience that they have gained domestically abroad: “For this reason, we have been on the road for one-and-a-half years and we are about to reap the fruit.” Global Ports Holding recently took over the management of Montenegro’s Port of Bar. It is one of the most important ports of the former Yugoslavia, dating back to the Ottomans.

 Global Ports Holding has also won the bid for the management of Lisbon’s cruise port. They are planning an investment of 65 million euros both for Bar and Lisbon.

They are also preparing to bid for ports in Malta, Tunisia and Dubrovnik. However, the biggest step for world leadership, as Saygın has pointed out, is the port in Barcelona.

We know that Barcelona is an outstanding world brand in tourism. Global Ports Holding has bought 22 percent shares of Barcelona Port in two batches, first in June 2013, then last December. Now, they are in the final stages of buying 78 percent of the shares.

The company that has been managing the port for 12 years is the Spanish Creuers company which is also the manager of Malaga Port and Singapore’s cruise port.

If Global Ports Holding is successful in raising its minority shares to 78 percent in Barcelona, then it will be able to reach its “leadership” target to a great extent. It will start expanding to the east with Singapore. 

This aspect that Narin has pointed out is also important: Cruise tourism, as in anything else, works from west to east.

Narin has explained how they worked together with architects and city planners at the Dubrovnik Port so that the 1,300-year-old city would be saved from the flow of tourists while a new living space is provided for the port.

Narin has Venice in mind the most: “The city of Venice is about to sink; they have major issues. There are plans to move the cruise port from the main island to the outside. Maybe we can step in at that stage and submit an offer for the port of Venice.”