Bodrum welcomed its first Cruise ship of the season last week which was a fabulous sight for those business owners and hoteliers whose industry has probably been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic over the last 12 months. The Viking Sea, which measures around 227 metres has the capacity to carry around 930 passengers and after the necessary checks have been carried out, will continue its voyage around the Mediterranean.
As restrictions continue to ease and most countries look to start foreign travel again from late May/early June, Bodrum is just one of the towns along the Turkish Riviera that is hoping to attract an influx of tourists, predicting three times as many people when compared to 2020.
Already a highly popular destination which can boast to have visitors from the UK, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Holland, there’s now also significant interest from Russians and Ukrainians, with the first Russian flight landing in Bodrum Airport a few days ago, carrying with it over 200 passengers.
Iclal Kayao?lu who is the Head of Bodrum Airport was so happy to be able to welcome the first international flight in months, that not only was there a ‘water salute’ for the airplane as it touched down, but there was also a small welcome ceremony when the passengers and crew disembarked.
Kayao?lu paints a very positive picture for the Summer and the year ahead pointing out that they ‘expect around 260,000 tourists for the year, with 5000 flights from across 38 countries’. She went on to assure people that despite guidelines remaining cautious there would still be 50% more tourists into the airport than last year.
As part of Turkey’s aim to become a global hub for Tourism, and to achieve a long term goal of being one of the top cruise destinations in the world, the renovation project at Galataport is finally nearing completion and will ‘open the flood gates’ very shortly, allowing up to 200 cruise ships and 350,000 passengers to dock there at once, potentially attracting 25 million extra visitors per year. It was one of Turkey’s biggest ever Investments with a total spend of just over 12.8 billion TL.