According to the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB), cruise tourist traffic to Turkey increased by 20 percent in the first half of 2015 compare to same period last year. The number of cruise tourists visiting the country rose to 647,984 in the first six months of the year from 538,409 in the same period of the previous year. However the increase is likely to slow down as Costa Cruises is suspending the remaining of its stopovers in Turkey for the 2015 season.
Cruise tourist traffic increased by 51 percent in Istanbul in the first half of 2015 year-on-year to 2014, hosting around 216,800 cruise tourists between January and June this year. The number of cruise tourists visiting the Aegean resort of Kuşadası rose to 194,348 in the mentioned period, representing a roughly 14 percent increase compared to the same months of 2014.
The number of cruise tourists visiting the Aegean province of İzmir, however, decreased by 10.7 percent to 76,636 in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2014. The same decreasing trend was also seen in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, as the number of visitors to the southern hotspot dropped by 13.3 percent to 56,268 in the first six months of 2015 year-on-year.
Following the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul and recent attacks on Turkish security forces within the country, Costa Cruises replaces its Istanbul and Izmir stops with alternatives in Greece, Italy and Malta.
The changes affect three of the line's ships: Costa neoClassica, Costa Pacifica and Costa Deliziosa.
A statement from Costa said: 'This decision will ensure the best experience for guests... The company is informing its guests and travel partners and has taken all measures to ensure minimum disruption in reaching and leaving the ship for those guests who have already booked their cruise."
Source: DHA, Cruise Critic