Global Ports Holding Plc (“GPH”), the world’s largest cruise port operator, signed a 20-year concession agreement to manage the cruise passenger terminal of the Port of Taranto, Italy. This agreement follows the announcement made by GPH on the 16 November 2020 that the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea had issued an award decision to grant a concession to GPH subject to entering a final concession agreement.
The cruise port infrastructure in Taranto is currently undergoing a state funded, c€28m investment program, including the building of a new cruise terminal. The construction of these new facilities is expected to be completed by March 2022. Following the successful execution of the concession agreement, GPH will use its global expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in Taranto. In 2019, Taranto Cruise Port welcomed c9k cruise passengers, with a pre Covid-19 forecast of over 14k passengers in 2020.
The President of the Port network Authority, Mr. Sergio Prete said: “This signing is a start of a new season of development and renewed expansion for the port of Taranto in the cruise sector, thus marking a memorable milestone for the Ionian community. The Port Authority will continue its promotional activity by widening the strategy oriented towards the growth of cruise traffic, in full cooperation with the activities that the Global Ports Holding will carry out in the area, aiming to make Taranto a privileged and desired destination for an increasing number of passengers. Moreover, thanks to the solid synergy established with the local Municipality, we will jointly continue to work to enhance the city’s brand as a tourist and cruise destination, by encouraging the dynamic and sustainable development of the local economy as well as the proactive function played by the port towards the territory”.
Dr. Antonio Di Monte, General Manager of GPH Italian Cruise Ports commented: “Taranto, also known as the seaside city, with its extraordinary riches of history, culture, landscape and nature, has a great potential to develop its cruise traffic. Through strong collaboration with the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea, the Municipality, and other local stakeholders, as Global Ports Holding, we will achieve the growth objectives of the increase in cruise traffic all the while having a positive effect on the local socio- economic fabric.”
H. Emre Sayın, CEO of Global Ports Holding commented: “This concession award is proof of GPH’s continued efforts to offer its expertise and network benefits to the cruise ports around the Mediterranean. In collaboration with our local stakeholders, we intend to transform Taranto into one of the highlights of Southern Italian itineraries, driving higher passenger volumes and introducing this beautiful city which harbors an ancient history dating back to the Spartans.”
Located in Southern Italy, the city of Taranto, was founded by the Spartans during the Greek colonization of the coast of Southern Italy. Through the years the city became a cultural, economic, and military power. Today it is one of the largest continental cities in southern Italy and an important commercial and naval port.