Ministerial representatives of the Governments of Greece and Turkey have agreed, as part of the second edition of Winter Cruising Forum in Istanbul, to take measures to boost traffic in the Mediterranean cruise.
In this sense, the Greek Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, George Nikitiades, told conference attendees that Athens will remove cabotage restrictions Greek ports for ships outside the European Union (EU), a move that was very well received by industry professionals gathered in Istanbul, said the organization of the forum.
These reforms, which involve the modification of coastal Greek law 2010, are currently being discussed by the Cabinet Hellenic and is expected to be approved next week, said the Greek Deputy Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiades.
For its part, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim, said during his speech at the forum that Ankara will reduce the cruise up to 50% certain port charges and services for cruise ships calling at Turkey As of January 2012.
These reductions are equivalent to a government injection of $ 10 million in the sector, according to Yildirim, who also cited the country’s tourism strategy ahead of 2023.
“We plan to expand and further develop nine cities and ten cruise ports, besides launching four new airports and other transport infrastructure, including the land,” he said.
He also highlighted the need to promote cruise tourism during the winter season, a strategy that considers advantageous for companies in the sector, given the favorable climatic conditions of Turkey enjoyed throughout the year, especially in the Aegean area .
The second edition of Winter Cruising Forum, met for two days to more than 180 delegates and speakers in Istanbul, addressed the growing importance of winter cruises to cruise at a time when the rising price of fuel increases the cost of repositioning of ships by long-distance voyages.
Participants discussed the opportunities and challenges arising from cruise ships operating all year round in the Mediterranean, and stressed the need for port development is sustainable and that planning is done with vision.
The conference was supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MedCruise), Turkish Airlines company and the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, among other entities.