Thursday, 14 July 2022

Cruise Ships Return - Most Visited Croatian Ports in First Half of 2022

July the 14th, 2022 - From all the way up in Rijeka to all the way down to Dubrovnik, let's look at the list of the most popular Croatian ports during the first half of this year as tourism returns to normal in the post-pandemic period.

As Morski writes, the State Bureau of Statistics has published a report on cruise ship arrivals in Croatian ports in the first five months of this year. The most visited port in the last half a year has of course been Dubrovnik.

In the period from January to May 2022, 48 foreign cruise ships entered Croatian ports with 135 cruises successfully completed. There were 97 thousand passengers aboard those ships, who stayed in Croatia for a total of 278 days. In the same period back in 2021, no entry of a foreign ship in any Croatian port for a round trip was recorded due to the epidemiological measures introduced across Croatia, Europe and most of the rest of the world to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Compared to the first five months of the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019, the number of trips by foreign cruise ships to Croatian ports up and down the coastline decreased by 21.1 percent, the number of days the ships stayed in those ports decreased by 28.0 percent, while the number of passengers on those ships decreased by a massive 60.9 percent.

Foreign cruise ships in the first five months of 2022 sailed under the flags of 11 countries in total. The largest number of trips by foreign cruise ships in Croatian ports was made under the flag of the Bahamas, with 34 trips in total, which is 25.2 percent of the total amount of trips made in the first five months of 2022. This flag was followed by cruises made under the flags of Malta (22 trips) and of Panama (17 trips).

Out of a total of 135 round trips, most of them were realised down in Dubrovnik-Neretva County (45.2 percent) and Split-Dalmatia County (31.9 percent), which is a total of 77.1 percent. The remaining 22.9 percent of trips into Croatian ports were made in the following counties: Zadar (15.5 percent), Sibenik-Knin (3.7 percent), Istria (3.0 percent) and Primorje-Gorski Kotar (0.7 percent).

The Port of Dubrovnik rather unsurprisingly had the most visits by foreign cruise ships (90 visits), followed by the ports of Split (68 visits), Zadar (35 visits), Korcula (17 visits), Sibenik (15 visits) and Hvar (14 visits).

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Croatian Nautical Tourism Sector Enjoyed Excellent 2022 Pre-Season

July the 6th, 2022 - The Croatian nautical tourism sector is absolutely booming and represents an extremely strong branch of the country's most lucrative earner - tourism. The sector enjoyed an excellent pre-season, and it looks as if the very height of the summer season is going to be a great one as well.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia is the first on many lists, and that can be either good or bad. It's the record holder for people leaving the homes of their parents and becoming independent last, but it's also very often the first when it comes to beach rankings. We suppose its up to you to decide whether to see a glass which is half full or half empty.

Maybe you didn't know, but Croatia has the most boats for rent in the entire world, reports RTL. The country boasts about 4,500 yachts and other vessels for rent in the fleet - which ensured Croatia the title of the world's nautical superpower.

The Punat marina on Krk has 850 moorings in the sea and 500 on land - and this is where the largest amount of nautical traffic within the Croatian nautical tourism sector in all of Kvarner is realised.

A couple from Austria chose it as their base: "In earlier years, I rented a boat in Croatia. I saw this area and the marina and I really liked it! Now we bought our own boat and decided to come to this marina," recounts Nadine Walcher.

This marina continues to record some truly excellent results, even though we're only at the beginning of the peak summer season. "The marina is full, we're already doing better now as far as 2019 is concerned in terms of occupancy and when we're talking about it financially," explained Robert Skomersic, an employee of the marina in Punat.

A Slovenian family has been loyal to Krk's Punat marina for years. They stay there until the end of July, but they come regularly from spring to autumn! "Slovenia is close and there is a sea like this... it doesn't exist anywhere else," said Gregor Preseren.

Of all the charter vessels in the world, i.e. those that are for rent, 40 percent are here in Croatia, making this country a world superpower in that segment. Since the beginning of this year, the Croatian nautical tourism sector has achieved one million and one hundred thousand overnight stays.

"This year, the pre-season has already achieved significant results, which we're satisfied with. Within the entire ACI system, which includes 22 marinas across the Adriatic, transits, i.e. daily berths, are at the level of what was recorded back in the record year of 2019,'' said the head of corporate communications of ACI marina, Adriana Miskovic.

Along with the extreme south of Croatia, Kvarner is also becoming more and more popular when it comes to Croatian nautical tourism. In the last five years, there has been a 65 percent increase in the number of overnight stays being realised by boaters, and the revenue is also growing.

"Guests from within the Croatian nautical tourism sector are also the type of guests who spend more than the average guest does, about 130 euros per day, or 170 if we're talking about a charter, and the total earnings in the ports within the Croatian nautical tourism umbrella last year amounted to around 160 million kuna,'' says the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Irena Persic Zivadinov.

For more on the blossoming Croatian nautical tourism sector, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Amount of Croatian Nautical Tourism Arrivals Spells Good Season

April the 20th, 2022 - The blossoming Croatian nautical tourism sector has high hopes for the upcoming summer tourist season, with reason to believe that 2022's summer season could be even better than the record one of pre-pandemic 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, if there are no major surprises in the geopolitical and epidemiological field, all indications are that for Croatian nautical tourism in 2022 in Croatia, traffic could exceed the pre-pandemic year 2019, with this sector already receiving its very first guests.

Good occupancy

According to eVisitor, from the beginning of the year until Easter itself, 13,000 arrivals and 61,000 overnight stays were realised in the Croatian nautical tourism sector, which marks an increase of 115 percent in terms of arrivals and 130 percent in terms of overnight stays when compared to last year.

Compared to the same period back in pre-pandemic 2019, it is also an increase of 6 percent in arrivals and 10 percent in overnight stays. The highest number of overnight stays in the Croatian nautical tourism sector are being realised in Split-Dalmatia, Zadar and Sibenik-Knin counties, and the highest number of overnight stays has been being realised by Austrians, Germans, Czechs, Poles and Slovenes.

"The charter lists are already pretty well filled. A significant number of departures on the booking lists are set to begin from the end of May, with June, July and August generally being filled with more than 70 percent of the capacity. September is traditionally a well-filled month, and because the prices are slightly lower than they are in the main season, and the crowds in the marinas aren't as heavy as they are during the very height of the season. Given the situation over in Ukraine, charters did notice a stalemate in reservations for the month of March. Despite that, it's good that the charters this season have mostly not resorted to approving big discounts on reservations,'' said Selma Cmelik, the founder of the č platform.

Currently, the biggest problem for the Croatian nautical tourism sector is the overall increase in costs for external service services, such as cleaning services, gas suppliers, and spare parts. As Cmelik explained, charters cannot increase the price of their services, because all reservations have so far been paid in advance.

It is also not popular to increase rental prices when the season has already begun. Sean Lisjak, president of the marina association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), explained that the competition across the rest of the Mediterranean has already started, which is why marinas here in Croatia will mostly stick to last year's prices of services this year. For now, the marinas are expected to surpass 2019's enviable figures.

"Although we don't have all the aggregate data for last year's business, we already know that the sector achieved almost the same amount in terms of turnover from 2019 last year, and according to announcements and reservations, this year should be even stronger if there are no major shocks elsewhere in Europe. Sailors are specific guests, they are loyal to this type of vacation, they have their own boats, nothing really bothered them during the pandemic because they're separated from other tourists,'' explained Lisjak.

The national marina chain, ACI, also pointed out that the previous season was already very good when compared to 2019, especially in the third quarter, when the most significant results were achieved.

"When we talk about the coronavirus pandemic, Croatian nautical tourism has really proved to be the most resilient type of all. People can stay undisturbed on their own or rented boats practically in isolation, and a safe holiday and stay in our marinas is guaranteed by the Safe stay in Croatia label, which is boasted by all ACI marinas. We're also witnessing a situation where an increasing number of countries have fully opened up or are opening up in the context of epidemiological measures and travel. When we talk about the geopolitical situation in Europe and its impact on the tourist and nautical season, it's too soon to say too much, but we expect the continuation of positive tourist trends this season as well.

At the moment, everything is in favour of things going well. The Croatian nautical season usually starts around Easter. So far, there have been no significant cancellations and all activities in the marinas are taking place as usual. Therefore, we can say that we're optimistic about the beginning of the pre-season and the season itself,'' they stated from ACI, which enjoyed growth in 2021 in terms of sales revenue of 35.9 million kuna, or 21 percent more when compared to 2020.

For more on Croatian nautical tourism, make sure to check out our travel section.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

New Law on Maritime Domain Key to Croatian Nautical Tourism Success?

July the 21st, 2021 - Croatian nautical tourism took somewhat of hit like the rest of the tourism sector did last year, but it fared far better than hotels and private accommodation did. Could a new law on Croatian maritime domain be the true key for the take off of Croatian nautical tourism's success? Some believe so.

As Novac writes, last year, nautical tourism became the main star of Croatian tourism, which is no wonder, considering that it easily enables the observance of all epidemiological protection measures such as social distancing.

Life with the novel coronavirus

Although almost a year and a half of adaptation to life with coronavirus is now behind us, the epidemiological situation is much better, and we have a vaccine, we believe that Croatian nautical tourism will repeat last year's success and once again show how much of an important part of the overall Croatian tourist offer it really is. Especially if we take into account the fact that Croatian nautical tourism, at least in terms of its income, directly contributes to the development of other selective forms of tourism such as eno-gastronomic tourism, and is especially important for pre- and post-season results.

All this is already known as we know that Croatia has the largest charter fleet in the world, consisting of about 4,500 vessels, and that the consumption of nautical tourists is almost twice the average, according to the latest TOMAS survey, a charter guest spends 183 euros a day.

What we desperately need, says the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism Dragan Kovacevic, is to talk about the key problems of the competitiveness of Croatian nautical tourism. We need to talk about the future, about the new strategy of Croatian tourism which on the one hand should ensure the sustainable development of nautical tourism while preserving our coastline and sea, and on the other hand remove obstacles, especially administrative and legal ones, for stronger investment and overall competitiveness of this sector.

Quality standards

Last year was extremely difficult for everyone, in every imaginable way. The Croatian Government responded in a timely manner and thanks to its crisis measures, we preserved liquidity and jobs. On the other hand, nautical companies are currently struggling and typically don't have enough funds to invest in development, so the sector is being actively threatened by obsolescence and declining quality.

For marinas, on the other hand, the precondition for further development is the transformation into "floating sea resorts" and moving away from the mere function of docking for ships.

"The precondition for this is the new Law on Maritime Domain, ie its amendments that would solve the legal uncertainty and uncertainty that existing concessionaires have, but also create preconditions for new investments and development and increase the quality of service," explained the vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Croatia has more than 30,000 km² of coastal sea, 1244 islands, cliffs and reefs and Croatian nautical tourism, it is an addition to high value-added tourism that prolongs the season and that's precisely why we must not miss this unique opportunity that lies ahead of us.

Croatia nautical tourism fits into the defined reform goals of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026 in the context of changing the structure of accommodation capacities, reducing seasonal and territorial concentration and sustainable resilient tourism that has high indirect effects and income.

"As much as 2.2 billion kuna will go to the tourism sector from the NPOO. the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is cooperating in drafting program,e documents, of which 96% are through grant agreements, which is positive because tourism companies aren't ready after having to take out Covid loans and pay interest on moratoriums on leasing and existing investment loans, to enter into new financial commitments, nor into investments in ''green and digital'', which will require a high percentage of their co-financing,'' concluded Vice President Kovacevic.

For more on Croatian nautical tourism, follow our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 7 August 2020

ACI's Kristijan Pavic: "Fear of Poor Nautical Tourism Season Was Unfounded"

As Novac writes on the 6th of August, 2020, on Tuesday, the President of the Management Board of ACI, Kristijan Pavic, expressed his satisfaction with the revenue generated in the first half of the year, which stood at 72 million kuna, which is 23 million kuna less than in 2019.

Adriatic Croatia International Club (ACI), which manages 22 marinas on the Adriatic, generated 72.9 million kuna in revenue in the first six months of this year, which is 24 percent less than in the same period last year. According to the company's financial report published at the end of last week, the company recorded a loss of 13.5 million kuna when compared to profits of almost 7 million kuna a year earlier.

Kristijan Pavic pointed out on Tuesday that the achieved business results showed that there was an unfounded fear that due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no season to be had in 2020 for Croatian nautical tourism.

"In terms of annual berths, we generated 50 million kuna in revenue, which is at the level of 2019, which allowed us to keep the current number of employees and not reduce salaries. In the first part of the year, we achieved 30 percent of last year's transit result, and in July that number rose to 69 percent. I expect a positive trend to grow in both August and during the off-season,'' Kristijan Pavic said.

Pavic visited the ACI marina in Dubrovnik, emphasiing that the Dubrovnik region was most affected by the coronavirus pandemic crisis, primarily due to the lack of air connections. "In July, there was a recovery through the growth of transit and I believe that this trend will continue in August and during the off-season, so that we can ultimately view this region as successful," Kristijan Pavic said.

He announced that ACI is following the trends in the development of megayacht marinas, so after the average length of berths in the marina in Rovinj are extended from 11 to 17 metres, a new investment is expected in the ACI marina Dubrovnik. "The county spatial plan enabled us to expand the marina down the Ombla river, so now we're working on a project that will enable the acceptance of much larger yachts," Pavic said.

The director of the ACI marina Dubrovnik, Leo Ajdukovic, pointed out that the marina recorded 30 percent of last year's result at the beginning of July, and is currently at 50 percent.

"It's hard to compare it to last year, which was the most cost-effective and best in history for us. The numbers have been improving in July and August and we're going in a new direction,'' said Ajdukovic, adding that charter cancellations are becoming less frequent.

At the end of July, ACI received a building permit for the renovation of the Sorkocevic summer house in the ACI marina Dubrovnik, and the project worth more than 60 million kuna will apply for European Union funds. The renovation of the building and the associated garden is planned, and among the future facilities will be a school of old crafts, a restaurant, galleries and boutiques.

For more, follow our business section.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Croatian Nautical Tourism: ACI Marinas Providing Free Berths, Discounts

As Novac/Privredni/Jozo Vrdoljak writes on the 26th of May, 2020, following the easing of the formerly stringent anti-coronavirus measures and with the aim of improving the general offer and the successful start of Croatian nautical tourism this summer season, ACI is introducing more favourable conditions in its marinas from the 1st to the 30th of June, 2020.

Owing to the implementation of these measures designed to give the Croatian nautical tourism industry a much needed boost for 2020's season, during June, all sailors whose vessels are on an annual berth will receive free daily berths in all ACI marinas, and all other sailors will receive a very welcome 30 percent discount.

Free berths are limited to two free daily berths per individual ACI marina for private vessel owners, who can, as such, spend the whole month of June free of charge outside of their ''home marinas'' in other ACI marinas, from as far north as Umag all the way down to Croatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik. Sailors in a charter who rent vessels in one of the ACI marinas can also gain access to one free berth in each ACI marina they enter during their charter.

In normalising everyday life and business, bearing the importance of Croatian nautical tourism and the interest of sailors for sailing on the Adriatic sea in mind, ACI has decided to attempt to further meet the needs of annual guests and those in transit.

"The new benefits we have prepared are a kind of thank you for the understanding and support that our guests, both domestic and foreign, have shown in the past and throughout all the years so far. We're glad that together, we've managed to successfully overcome all of the challenges that have been put before us in recent months, and we're looking forward to the arrival of our sailors. Every day, we're further developing our services to provide our guests with added value and better experiences,'' stated Kristijan Pavic, President of the Management Board of ACI.

Given the fact that the Republic of Croatia is home to 40 percent of the world's charter fleet, ACI continues to position the country on the nautical tourism map of the world, which is something that comes with an array of additional benefits. On top of all of that, one of the largest charter fleets in the world is located in the marinas dotted along the Croatian coast, meaning that the time is now to provide the Croatian nautical tourism sector a spring in its step.

Make sure to follow our travel page for more on Croatian nautical tourism.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Croatian Nautical Tourism Bypasses Slump, Charter Industry Grows

The season in the marinas, which goes on for as long as the weather is nice when it comes to Croatian nautical tourism, has remained at the level of last year, which was excellent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 15th of September, 2019, unlike Croatian "terrestrial" accommodation, nautical tourism didn't experience any particular slumps this season. Plus, the number of overnight stays achieved in the nautical tourism sector is higher than in all other segments of Croatian accommodation, and the number of charters, or the number of vessels available for rent and the transporting passengers, has increased.

The impression from Croatian marinas this year is that their season, which, as previously mentioned, goes on for as long as the weather conditions allow, has remained at the level of last year's season, which was excellent.

"On the eve of the season, we were cautious because of the announcement of the return of our competitors from Greece and Turkey to the market, but we're pleased that the peak season is over," said Sean Lisjak, president of the marina association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), while awaiting the official results from Croatian marinas.

Everyone who had the impression that sea traffic on the Croatian Adriatic was increasing this year was right, statistics confirm. In the registers of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, in the period until the end of August, a total of 750 vessels (both cargo and passenger), 126,000 various purpose boats and 3,100 motor yachts were recorded in Croatian waters. An average of 60,000 foreign yachts and boats sailing to Croatian ports is still to be added, the aforementioned ministry has noted.

By the beginning of September 2019, a total of 353.7 thousand boats were registered in the area of ​​supervision of all eight harbour master's in Croatia, an increase of 2.17 percent over the previous year and about 0.13 percent more newly registered yachts. When it comes to Croatian nautical tourism, the number of boats for charter this year increased by 7.5 percent, from last year's 8,256 up to an encouraging 8908 boats, while the number of passenger boats slightly decreased, down to 2,208.

There were 3,115 yachts on the Croatian Adriatic, of which 2,328 were chartered, which is an increase of about 150 yachts.

Most boats were rented in the Split region, and their number increased by two hundred boats this summer (2,513 in total), followed by the Zadar area, where a hundred or so more boats were rented this summer (1,619). This year, 1,352 boats were rented in the area of ​​the habour master's office in Rijeka, followed by the Šibenik and the Istrian regions, while the least boats were rented around Dubrovnik, although there has been an increase of about 100 vessels (706 in total).

Croatia is known as the world's largest charter destination, which is a label that will stick and continues this year with this continued growth in traffic.

According to the ministry, by mid-August, a total of 2,850 yacht and boat rental companies were registered on the Croatian market.

The increase in nautical traffic was also recorded by the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), whose eCrew boat registration system showed a three percent increase in arrivals by the beginning of September and an eight percent increase in terms of overnight stays.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more. If you're interested in sailing in Croatia, give Total Croatia Sailing a follow.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Croatia has the Largest Boat Charter Fleet in the World

Conclusions from the International Charter Expo 2016, which just finished in Zagreb