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Izmir to Become Marina Centre as Govt Attracts Higher Wealth Tourists

Posted on 03 August 2010

The 13 million euro Çeşme Marina opened this week. The marina, which we will cover in more detail in a few weeks, is already attracting massive attention from tourists and potential property buyers.

The marina has a 400-boat-capacity on the sea and a 100 boat-capacity on land. The architectural design of the marina was made by Atelier Xavier Bohl, the designer of Port Grimaud of St. Tropez and Ayyapı Mimarlık and covers 31,000 square meters.

This is to be the latest in a succession of marinas in the region according to the authorities. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters that 400 million liras are to be invested in expanding the capacity of Izmir port.

The plan is to split the port into sections for passenger and cargo transport, and then to build two new finger piers to increase the number of passenger ships the port can receive.

After explaining how the increase in passenger ships coming to Izmir from 18 to 29 had left the port at capacity, Yildirim said: "We will add two more finger piers to the passenger port. The facility will also contribute to tourism in the city."

Yildirirm said that the new investment, which will increase the port’s yacht capacity to 2600, 20% of Turkey’s capacity, will make Izmir a marina centre. The minister also told of bidding studies for further marina’s in the Izmir districts of Karaburun, Sifne, Seferihisar, Mordoğan and Yeni Foça after Sığacık and Çeşme, adding that they will be put out to tender this year.

İzmir and Çeşme are becoming the center of yacht tourism, he said. “Turkey should receive a higher share from nearly 1 million private boats sailing in the Mediterranean Sea. With enterprises opened last year, Turkey’s capacity has increased from 10,000 to 15,000. The target for 2013 is 50,000.”

This is all part of the government’s aim to open up Turkey to higher-income-band tourists, and to move away from the dominance of the package holiday.

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