Constant EnhancementEmre Sayın of Global Ports Holding reflects on his first year as the company’s CEO and shares his vision for the future
Global Ports Holding (GPH) has a portfolio of 14 ports in eight countries. As one of the largest cruise operators on the planet, GPH works to develop the best industry practices across its vast network of ports, with the aim of ensuring every passenger enjoys their visit.
Having been appointed as GPH’s CEO in May 2016, Emre Sayın is approaching a year in the role. As he looks back, he describes his time at the helm to date as being both challenging and exciting.
“At GPH, we are making big steps on finding synergies between our ports and looking to operate under the best model,” he says. “We’ve also continued our expansion e orts. When I arrived, we had ten ports in our portfolio. Now we have 14 ports in eight countries. But there have also been challenges, particularly with regards to the worrying incidents that have happened in different parts of Europe and the Mediterranean of late.”
Sayın says that one of his key aims as CEO is to maintain and enhance GPH’s position within the industry. His intention is to expand the company’s capabilities and offer the best experience for passengers, while also being a great partner organisation for cruise lines, local authorities and cities.
“Our network is composed of ports that are willing to learn,” says Sayın. “We have experienced local teams that do a great job that is recognised by industry members and by the local community as being beneficial for their destination. We have also developed the rst proprietary cruise port operating system that is cloud-based, highly scalable and integrated with all our ports operations. Our aim is to keep contributing to the development of the industry standards.”
With 13 of the 14 ports in GPH’s portfolio located in Europe and the Mediterranean, how does Sayın reflect on the current cruise and ferry market in the continent?
“Europe and especially the Mediterranean are ideal for cruising, due to the variety of destinations, the wide range of cultures and attractions, and the relatively short distances between places of interest,” he says. “There is also tremendous room for growth in the European source markets. Ports and local authorities are increasingly interested in cruise traffic, as they see the benefits to their local economy. They are also making investments or perhaps considering privatisation models. is last point is important to us, as GPH is considered one of the best options in this area thanks to our knowledge of the industry and our global marketing capabilities.”
Sayın says that while the future is bright for the company, GPH cannot simply sit back and relax, as the industry is constantly changing and new markets are emerging.
“We are creating new developments at a number of the ports we operate,” he explains. “All of them are constantly improving their facilities and infrastructure to cope with the development of the industry all our ports are constantly improving their facilities and services. In Lisbon, Portugal, we are building a beautiful cruise terminal which is due to open in 2017, and a new terminal was inaugurated a few months ago in Cagliari, Italy.”
Some of GPH’s plans are on a global scale. The company is currently working on a security code to be applied to all GPH ports within the year. is will set standards and help the company improve security in all its ports, regardless of location.
“Thanks to this code, our ports will not only comply with International Ship and Port Facility Security standards but also be ready for implementing some vital security codes and standards,” Sayın explains. “These include ISO:27001 information security management and ISO:20858 maritime port facility security assessments and security plan development.”
Moving forward, Sayın has ambitious ideas for the organisation and hopes to ensure that GPH’s burgeoning reputation within the industry continues to grow.
“We are also concentrating on overall guest journey and we are working on guest services to improve the experience at our ports,” he says. “We hope to extend our services and improve the quality of both the operations and guest experience at our cruise ports. We want to become the partner that develops specific solutions with cruise lines towards the improvement of the industry.”
”To stay ahead of the competition, we are creating new developments at a number of the ports we operate”