Rush of cruise ships to Aegean town of Çeşme
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoThe Aegean province of Çeşme has reached 35,000 cruise passengers by way of 53 cruise tours in 2013 from only 211 at the beginning of 2011, sector representatives said.
The province, one of the most popular tourist spots of Turkey, has already guaranteed 66 new cruises for the coming year.
“This represents a 24 percent increase in the number of cruise tours from this year,” said Mayor of the town, Faik Tütüncüoğlu.
Over 50,000 cruise passengers are expected to come to Çeşme.
“We want to make Çeşme one of the world’s most popular cruise stops,” the mayor said.
Istanbul, the western ports of Kuşadası, Bodrum and Marmaris, and the southern port of Antalya are among other favorite destinations of cruise ships out of a total of 23 ports.
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.
Cruise ship tourism, which attracts people of high income, has grown about 10 percent every year.