The 59th MedCruise General Assembly that was held in Barcelona, Spain, elected Ms Figen Ayan, Chief Port Officer Galataport Istanbul as the new President of the Association representing ports and stakeholders related to the cruise business in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas.
Born in Paris, Figen Ayan is a French and Turkish citizen. Ayan studied at and obtained her diploma in, “Lettres Modernes” from La Sorbonne – Paris IV in 1994.
Since February 2014 Figen Ayan serves as the Chief Port Officer at Galataport Istanbul. She has been a Ministry of Culture and Tourism professional tourist guide, licensed in the French and English languages, since 1997. From 2011, she has been acting as the Board Member of the international MedCruise Association, representing 140 cruise ports from 21 countries in the Mediterranean and adjoining seas. She started her professional life in the cruise industry in 1994 at ITS (International Travel Services) company and continued her tourism career in 1999 with Tura Tourism as its Aegean Region Manager. Subsequently, she acted as the Marketing and Communications Manager of Global Investment Holdings until 2005. For a period of 6 months, Ayan worked at Arkas-MSC as Port Management Manager for Turkey. She started back at Global Investment Holdings’ subsidiary company Global Ports Holding in 2006 as the Marketing Director of Kusadasi, Bodrum and Antalya cruise ports. She actively contributed to the Business Development department of the company to acquire and insert the cruise ports of Barcelona-Spain and Lisbon-Portugal to their portfolio.
For the past 15 years, Figen Ayan has been attaching importance to personal development and alternative therapies; she participated in international breath trainings, family constellation and various meditative therapies. She is currently an advanced trainee for Somatic Experiencing®, which is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders.
She succeeds in the Presidency Aris Batsoulis, Head of Technical Services & Development Director – PFSO of Corfu Port Authority, who will continue serving the Association as Honorary President – thanked by the new President for his contribution to the MedCruise success throughout the past years.
“I love the cruise industry, for its resilience, its creativity, its openness and many more reasons capsulled in my over 27-years career. Hence it is a true honour and privilege to represent 140 boutique and marquee cruise ports from 21 countries in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas as the President of MedCruise Association for the 2021-2024 mandate,” said Figen Ayan following her election.
Figen Ayan continued stated “It is even more valuable to have 12 Board of Directors represented by Ms. Francesca Antonelli, Mr. Lorenzo Vera, Mr. Aris Batsoulis, Ms. Silvia Coppolino, Ms. Cristina De Gregori, Mr. Aziz Gungor, Ms. Valeria Mangiarotti, Mr. Doru Mihai, Mr. Jamil Ouazzani, Ms. Theodora Riga, Ms. Anne-Marie Spinosi and Ms. Elisa Zamora who dedicated their knowledge and professionalism for the growth of the cruise industry but also MedCruise over the years.
We will be all together the ambassadors of our ports, our industry and countries for a harmonious atmosphere along with our port and associate members.
I, with the Board of Directors of MedCruise are here to be the bridge between the cruise lines and the cruise ports or destinations. While, we as the members of MedCruise, are far more than the faces, agencies or promoters of destinations…
We are the ones who can resolve diplomatic matters in the most delicate way for the good of our ports and destinations.
We are the ones, who can reach and go above the environmental goals dictated by the governments for the good of our planet and future generations.
We are the ones who create safe and good environments for the cruise passengers, crew and also our own local passengers/source markets. Let me rectify, we don’t accept good services, we question and always do whatever is necessary to be a better version of ourselves for the growth of the industry and, the success of all the cruise lines!
As MedCruise members, we are a strong and beautiful mosaic of cultures, civilisations, who shape in a subtle, deep and humble manner the cruise industry.
As the new President of MedCruise Association, I am thrilled and cannot wait to work hand in hand, heart by heart with the board of directors, the port and associate members.
Let’s create an epic story together!
Our diversity, our strength!”
Along with its President, MedCruise elected its Board of Directors (BoD) members to serve for the period 2021-20214. The members of the new Board of Directors are:
Francesca Antonelli, elected as Senior Vice President (Valencia, Spain), Lorenzo Vera, elected as Vice President (Motril-Granada, Spain), Aris Batsoulis, (Corfu, Greece), Silvia Coppolino (Taranto, Italy), Cristina De Gregori (Genoa-Savona. Italy), Aziz Gungor (Kusadasi-Bodrum, Turkey), Valeria Mangiarotti (Sardinian Ports, Italy), Doru Mihai (Constantza, Romania), Jamil Ouazzani (Tangier, Morocco), Theodora Riga (Thessaloniki, Greece), Anne-Marie Spinosi (Bastia-North Corsica Ports, France), Elisa Zamora (Tenerife Ports, Spain).
Aimilia Papachristou is reappointed as the Secretary General of the Association.
(Photo from L-R: Aziz Gungor, Aris Batsoulis, Doru Mihai, Silvia Coppolino, Cristina de Gregori, Valeria Mangiarotti, Anne-Marie Spinosi, Figen Ayan, Fransesca Antonelli, Lorenzo Vera, Jamil Ouazzani)