With its sun, sea, beaches and historical attractions, Turkey is among the preferred countries for cruise tourism, with 10,207,364 passengers visiting the country on 7,593 cruises over the past five years.
Turkey's historical and natural beauties alongside its geography and recent developments in the tourist sector have made it the most popular cruise spot in Europe.
While over 10 million passengers visited Turkey on 7,593 cruises over the past five years, 85 boats visiting Turkey over the first four months of the year brought 82,114 passengers.
Cruise passengers sailed to 23 ports in Turkey last year. Kuşadası, Istanbul, İzmir, Bodrum, Marmaris and Antalya are among the favorite spots for cruise ships to drop anchor.
Cruise tourism presents an alternative holiday experience not only for foreign tourists but also for locals.
An agreement will be in the works between banks in September. Sector shareholders from around the word will also get together to improve cruise tourism in Turkey, raise its profile, support the development of cruise tourism in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region and also give a message to the world regarding the safety of Turkish seas.
Turkey's interest in cruise tours, favored by 22 million tourists around the world, is gradually increasing. Cruise tourism has recently started gaining its place in the sector as a favored holiday type for Turkish citizens as cruise trips departing from Kuşadası, İzmir and Istanbul gradually increase. The number of local tourists who chose cruise journeys last year reached 50,000. Turks mostly prefer warm places for their cruises.
Cruise boats are complete substitutes for five-star hotels in terms of comfort and services. Receiving touristic services, visiting ports and doing shopping in the comfort of a five-star hotel are the leading factors that attract passengers to cruise tourism.
Passengers have the opportunity to visit different cities and countries in a short time while gaining single room accommodation. Economic and quality holiday opportunities, especially on short travels, as well as the various cruise options available to different passenger types, including families, and the atmosphere of "elegance" created by cruise tourism, with staff and managers whose only duty is to satisfy the passengers' needs, are increasing demand for cruise trips.
According to the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), a tourist spends approximately $50-55 per day while a transit cruise passenger in a boat visiting European ports spends approximately $200-250 per port. This directly contributes to that country's economy.