Kuşadası expects over 300 cruise ship visits
Kuşadası, one of Turkey's main holiday destinations on the Aegean coast, will host 310 cruise ships to visit the town with some 360,000 people on board this year, Aziz Güngör, the general manager of Ege Port Limanı, has told Anadolu Agency.
Last year 194 cruise ships docked at the resort's ports, bringing in around 180,000 visitors, according to Güngör.
Next year Kuşadası will see records in cruise tourism, according to Güngör, who predicts as much as 360 cruise ship visits with up to 800,000 holidaymakers.
The projections for 2021 is an indication that "we are overcoming the troubles strongly and fast," he remarked.
Güngör underlined passengers who travel on larger cruise ships are generally people with high income, thus, cruise tourism is important for Turkey which hopes to boost average spending of international visitors.
Turkey is a key market for major global cruise operators and the decline in cruise traffic to Turkey over the past two-three years also adversely affected them, he said.
"Turkey was a lucrative market for those operators and their customer satisfaction with Turkey was very high. Those operators are now coming back," Güngör added.
Cruise tourism contributes greatly to the town's local economy, Bülent İlbahar, the head of Kuşadası Tourism Association, said.
"A pessimistic mood prevailed among businesses and the tourism industry in Kuşaadası following the adverse developments in 2016, but we are hopeful now."
The increase in cruise ship visits will definitely revive local business, İlkbahar said.