Turkey sets incentives to lure cruise ships

Alanya port, Turkey
Photo Credit: Muratart/Shutterstock

The government of Turkey is offering incentives for cruise lines to call in Turkish ports, according to a big port operating company based in the country.

Many cruise lines stopped calling in Turkey because of bombings at the Istanbul airport in 2016 and an attempted coup against the government.

In 2018, the government will pay up to $45 per passenger, according to Global Ports Holding, an operator of ports worldwide based in Istanbul.

In a posting on its website, Global Ports said the $45 incentive is available in the low seasons of January-April and November-December, while arrivals in the mid-season of May and June would yield $35 per passenger, with July-October high-season arrivals worth $25.

Payments would be made through "shorex agencies," the posting said.

The incentives apply only to ships with 100 or more passengers and exclude Turkish passengers.

For 2019, cruise lines making a turnaround in Turkish ports will receive an additional 50% increase on the passenger fees listed (including one-way passengers), the posting said.

Global Ports said the payments are part of a "Turkish Cruise Tourism Incentive Pack" recently announced by the government.

Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corp., said he wasn't aware of the incentives but said Carnival "continues to keep a close watch on this market in hopes of returning our cruise ships in the future."

Global Ports Holding operates ports in Kusadasi, Bodrum and Antalya in western Turkey.

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