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Reaction from Izmir Tradesmen to Cruise Ships: Tourists Are Not Brought to Us


Reaction from Izmir Tradesmen to Cruise Ships: Tourists Are Not Brought to Us

Cruise Reaction from Izmir Tradesmen:Cruise tourism representatives and tradesmen in Izmir complain that tourists do not visit the city…

With the start of the summer season in tourism, cruise ships began to dock at Izmir Port more frequently.

Özgür Doğu Saymaz from Aydınlık Newspaper wandered around Kordon Port and Kemeraltı, handed a microphone to the shopkeepers and talked to the representatives.

According to the news of Özgür Doğu Saymaz; Cruise and Sea Tourism Association President Korhan Bilgin said, “It is unknown what benefit it provides us.”

Bilgin said:

“Izmir ranks 3rd or 4th in the top ten among cities to really live in. We know that it is a favorite place of many local and foreign tourists. We have Alsancak port, we see cruise ships docking. However, it seems that there is no opportunity to take these tourists around the historical places in Izmir, Alsancak or the city center and to keep tourists in that area economically. No one is aware that these ships came to Izmir. Izmir is not visited, instead, tours leave at 7 in the morning, stay in Kuşadası until 4 or 5 in the evening, get stuck in Bornova traffic on the way back, barely make it to the port and leave Izmir in a hurry. A statement made by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mahmut Özgen Erbey, who is also the President of the Cruise Platform, turns out to be true. He said, ‘These ships are of no use to Izmir.’ We resented this too. But if and when the ships come this way, it really won’t be of any use. When we look at it in terms of tradesmen and economy, it is a business-related situation. However, historical richness exists not only in the coastal districts of our city, but also in its center. “It has an Agora, it has Kadife Castle.”


“We always express the same thing about this issue on platforms, cruise platforms, in the Chamber of Commerce, later in governorship meetings, in the Mayor’s meetings with our TÜRSAB President, and with our BTK President. Izmir does not have a story. Why should tourists come to Izmir? Where do we take people who will come to Izmir? First of all, these need to be determined, studied and explained to people and shipping companies abroad. We say we have the largest shopping mall in the world. It is the most historical, containing 7 synagogues and 7 churches, and has both a historical and a religious image, as well as diversity and originality in terms of shopping. We cannot explain this to local governments in any way…

“This port operator does not have any savings related to cruise ship operation anyway. Its entire operation is based on container shipping and it earns its income from there. Today, our governor is the chairman of the Izmir Tourism Commission. So this is the highest tourism commission. It has the right to convene the tourism commission in Izmir. If we succeed in this work, we will add value to Izmir. Izmir has 7 different ports. We expect cruise tourism. Because Izmir is a port city. Izmir has historical values. If we use these, if we do things this way, if we work, we will double the economy in Izmir. Izmir will truly rise. Please listen and let’s take this cruise tourism somewhere.”


“Last year, 900,000 tourists came to Kuşadası with 700 ships. This includes ferries. 32 ships arrived at Izmir Port. Let me tell you the difference. One has 700 ships, the other has 32 ships. Approximately 10 of these 32 ships belong to a single company such as Costa and MSC Cruise, which come back to back with their own means. Today, if 750 ships come to Kuşadası and approximately 300-500 ships come to Galataport, if we spread this to our other ports, it is expected that at least 1 million more tourists will come to Turkey in a year. We need to offer these to cruise tourism. We need to visit these places with daily tours and enable people to visit them. The biggest responsibility for this falls to the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has no reports on cruise tourism. However, our expectations are very high in this regard.”


Another group of people who complain about cruise ship passengers not landing in Izmir are the shopkeepers in Kordonboyu. Cruise Reaction from Izmir Tradesmen

Ömür Şanlı, President of Kordon Businessmen Association, explained the situation in the region, which is one of the most attractive centers of Izmir.

“The first place where cruise ships land is actually Kordon. However, Kordon tradesmen cannot benefit from this in any way. You bring cruise ships to Izmir, but you don’t do anything promotional. What to eat, what to drink, where and what to buy in Izmir… There should be promotional brochures and time should be allocated. By making package programs, they mostly take people to Kuşadası, Virgin Mary and those regions. Since it arrives around 8-9 in the morning and leaves around 4-5 in the evening, people come and go in a hurry. You must stay here for at least one night. You say Izmir Kordon… A Kordon that has been the subject of poems and songs… When you look at the people sitting on the grass, you see that unfortunately the crowd is not tourists. Those who come cannot stop and return because of fear. There is no such situation in any country in the world. Unfortunately, this is a picture that does not suit Izmir!


Click to read Özgür Doğu Saymaz’s full news titled “Let Cruise Ship Passengers Get to Know Izmir”


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