📩 29/04/2022 15:15
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy visited the cruise ship Costa, which anchored in Galataport Istanbul.
Ersoy, who made a statement to the members of the press after touring the ship, said that a new port will be needed in 2024 and that work is underway to build a special port for cruise ships in Yenikapı.
Minister Ersoy said that Galataport, which went through a major construction process, was completely renovated and put into service in its modern form.
Stating that Istanbul has a port that is ranked first in the world, Ersoy said, “Of course, this is not enough. The important thing is to create a market share in line with the purpose and objectives of such a valuable port.” said.
Stating that they moved to the second stage and that Istanbul was brought back to the "homeport" level, where the first move was made for cruise ships years later, Ersoy said, "Istanbul is very lucky, Istanbul has all the necessary features to be a homeport. One of the most important issues is the size of your international airport. Currently, Istanbul has one of the largest airports in the world.” used the phrase.
Minister Ersoy noted that direct flights can be made from Istanbul Airport to 330 cities, and that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure will complete the subway axes that will connect Istanbul Airport to both Galataport and the city center.
“Istanbul is a great attraction point for tourism”
Drawing attention to the reasons why Istanbul was preferred, Ersoy gave the following information:
“Of course, Istanbul itself is a huge tourist attraction. As you know, before the pandemic, there were 15 million visitors and around 16-17 million transit passengers. This attraction point feature is a very necessary feature for homeports. Natural history, natural beauties, the Bosphorus and a shopping point are also very important for Istanbul to be among the points of attraction.” made its assessment.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, pointing out that Istanbul also comes to the fore with its gastronomy, said that the Michelin Guide put Istanbul on its radar.
Noting that the restaurants that will receive stars in Istanbul will be determined until October 11, and then the stars will be distributed, Ersoy said, “In other words, Istanbul is a shopping point, gastronomy, historical and natural beauties, airport infrastructure, direct flights to more than 330 cities and the airport. With the metro infrastructures connecting it to the city center, it has completed all its deficiencies and we are reaping the fruits of this quickly.” said.
Minister Ersoy also touched upon the works of the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA), and said that since 2019, a very intense promotion has been made around the world. Emphasizing that they have increased the number of countries where the promotion is made to 140 this year, Ersoy noted that as a result of the promotional campaigns, Istanbul has been chosen as the first and second destination destination in various platforms and travel sites for the last 2 years.
“We think that a new port will be an important need for Istanbul by 2024”
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy drew attention to the importance of the Costa cruise ship being in Galataport Istanbul and said:
“Costa is one of the world's leading cruise operators and is also part of a huge global chain group. Costa Venezia ship docked in Istanbul at this time. As of May 1, it will begin regular Istanbul-based departures and cruise operations within Turkey and Greece. At the first stage, a minimum of 25 flights are planned. These expeditions will continue until winter. After the winter, they will carry out an expedition program that extends to Egypt via the Mediterranean.”
Stating that one of Costa's ships will be in Istanbul regularly in 12 months of the year, Ersoy said, “This year's target is planning to double its capacity next year. Already at the moment, the reservations coming to Galataport are also very important. Currently, there are more than 200 ship reservations for this summer. We anticipate that this will rapidly double over the next year. We think that a new port will be an important need for Istanbul by 2024. In this context, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure is doing its work. For the years 2024-2025, we aim for a new port tender to be made and for Istanbul to get much more cruise customers than in the past, and even to rank first among the few cruise destinations in Europe.” said.
Minister Ersoy stated that the promotional support that TGA will provide to Costa will set an example for other cruise operators and that they are hopeful for Istanbul and they expect new records to be broken in tourism data.
Stating that the tourism targets announced at the beginning of the year were preserved and there was a significant increase in the West and the Middle East compared to last year, Ersoy said, “We will reach the figure we announced at the beginning of the year, by joining hands with the sector and the state, and we will continue our lives by breaking records again for the coming years.” he said.
Emphasizing that after the completion of the new port, which is under construction around Yenikapı, it will be introduced to cruise operators, Ersoy said, “We think the future of Istanbul is very bright for cruise travel. The cruise tour operators we talked to also state that Istanbul will be the first homeport destination in their 5-year growth plans. That's how they set their goals." used the phrases.
During the visit, Minister Ersoy was accompanied by Costa Group CEO Micheal Hamm, Costa Crociere President Mario Zanetti, Ay Cruise Management Chairman and Costa Turkey Board Member Çetin Ay.
About the Costa Venezia cruise ship
Built in Fincantieri's shipyard in Monfalcone, the 135 thousand-ton Costa Venezia has 2 guest cabins.
The ship, which has many different open areas, includes water park and adventure park activities, spa, swimming pools and different activity areas.
As of May, Costa Cruise will start voyages from Istanbul with Italian Costa Cruises and German AIDA Cruises brands. Costa Venezia, which is the first cruise departing from Istanbul from Galataport, aims to contribute to the revitalization of tourism.