Monday, 30 January 2023

ACI Marina Rijeka: Largest Croatian Nautical Tourism Investment Ever

January the 30th, 2023 - The largest investment in the blossoming nautical tourism sector to ever have occurred in the Republic of Croatia - ACI Marina Rijeka, will likely see this sector of tourism excel in an unimaginable way.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the largest global nautical fair, Boot Dusseldorf (Germany), reopened its doors this year after a two-year break due to the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic, and ACI d.d., the largest chain of marinas in the entire Mediterranean, presented its impressive project for the construction of the future ACI Marina Rijeka, the 23rd port of nautical tourism in its huge system.

With 230 moorings with an average length of sixteen metres, the future ACI Marina Rijeka will primarily aim to transform Rijeka from a traditional transit port into an important tourist and nautical destination, aimed at guests with deeper pockets.

After two pandemic-dominated years, Boot Dusseldorf gathered all the leading global representatives of the nautical industry together, and on that occasion, ACI d.d. presented key current events in its business operations. At the same time, the project of building the future ACI Marina Rijeka in the nautical tourism port of Porto Baros was in the foreground. As the Croatian public already more or less knows, this is the largest investment in nautical tourism in the history of the country, worth around 50 million euros in total.

ACI will realise this investment together with the company GITONE Kvarner, which is owned by the Lurssen group, the world's most famous manufacturer of luxury vessels. The joint company ACI-GITONE received a thirty-year concession for the construction and establishment of this new Rijeka marina, which will certainly stand out among the ports of nautical tourism in the entire Mediterranean with its capacity, luxury and technological attributes.

The future ACI Marina Rijeka represents a key element in expanding the portfolio of the two companies involved, but also in changing the vision of the City of Rijeka and improving the quality of life of the local community. The project for the construction of the new ACI Marina Rijeka is extremely important for Croatia's national competitiveness, especially in the tourism and economy segments, which will certainly be reflected in the growing tourism indicators in the future.

As many as 1,500 exhibitors partook in this year's edition of the fair, spanning sixteen halls in total.

For more, make sure to check out our news section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Is Croatian Luxury Nautical Tourism a Good Recipe for the Future?

September the 29th, 2022 - Is Croatian luxury nautical tourism the way forward and the key to the future for Croatian tourism? A conference held in Zadar recently discussed the matter further.

As Morski writes, a conference was held recently in the Dalmatian city of Zadar under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, where the leaders of Croatian tourism and the nautical and maritime sector spoke about the development of Croatian luxury nautical tourism, more specifically within Zadar County.

Nautical tourism is one of the backbones of tourism in the Croatian Adriatic, we saw all its advantages during the global coronavirus pandemic when it led the entire tourism sector towards much needed recovery. From its very beginnings until this very day, it has been continuously developing and growing, and one of the fastest growing and most powerful segments is certainly Croatian luxury nautical tourism. This type of tourism implies significant investments, an extremely high level of offer and service, and it also brings guests with higher paying power, and these were the topics of the aforementiond Zadar-based conference.

''Ports are the gateway to the world, the driver of economic development and an important pillar of transport connectivity, their contribution to nautical industry, which continuously records better results, is unmissable. Our national chain of marinas - ACI, which manages 22 marinas from Umag all the way down to Dubrovnik, knows this better than anyone, and the construction of the 23rd marina in Porto Baros in the City of Rijeka is also currently being prepared.

ACI manages the Simuni marina on the island of Pag in Zadar County. The amount that ACI invested in its marinas, just last year alone, stands at almost 44 million kuna. It is precisely these continuous investments in infrastructure, but also in the entire offer, along with the coastline that Croatia has, that give these excellent results and place nautical tourism in the position of one of the leading sectors in the country's overall tourism results,'' said Minister of Maritime Affaits, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic.

County Prefect Bozidar Longin rated the Zadar coastline as one of the most important and valuable resources available to the county. However, he also drew attention to sustainability, namely that the coast is a sensitive ecosystem that we must protect and preserve, while Mayor Branko Dukic pointed out that the proper preconditions should be created and the local population should be considered more than ever, given the large number of guests and crowds during the height of the summer tourist season.

Zadar County is an ideal destination for the development of Croatian luxury nautical tourism. Moreover, the president of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavic, said that behind every luxury marina there must also lie a destination that is attractive to a clientele with higher paying power and greater demands, and Zadar is certainly one of those destinations. There can and should be a luxury marina located in Zadar, because the offer in the city and its surroundings is complementary to this type of marina, and vice versa.

The development of nautical tourism in Croatia over more recent years has defined a new direction in which we can head, and all those present agreed to continue to direct their proverbial sails in that direction, towards nautical tourism at an even higher level, remaining in synergy with the other facilities, content and tourist offer that the city already has.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Rijeka Boat Show Begins This Friday With Record Number of Exhibitors

September the 28th, 2022 - The Rijeka Boat Show is set to begin this Friday with a record number of exhibitors set to be present, according to yesterday's press conference.

As Morski writes, this year's Rijeka Boat Show was officially presented to the media yesterday, and over the three days of the fair, from September the 30th to October the 2nd, at the Karolina Rijeka Quay, about eighty exhibitors will present attractive brands from the nautical world, Croatian shipbuilding and a variety of related equipment to visitors.

The media was first addressed by Jana Sertic, head of the Department for Entrepreneurship of the City of Rijeka, who stated:

'''Rijeka needs a strong and relevant nautical fair such as this one. The Rijeka Boat Show is growing, it survived the pandemic and the potential for further development lies in the context of the development of the construction and commissioning of the Porto Baros marina. We're witnessing the transformation of Rijeka into a nautical destination, and the city is increasingly opening up to the sea. Therefore, the support of the City of Rijeka to the Rijeka Boat Show is unquestionable, and I hope for further cooperation in the years to come.''

Vedran Babic, a representative of the organisers, recalled the long tradition of nautical fairs in the City of Rijeka, which began as far back as 1984, and added:

''The success of a fair project is measured, among other things, by the number of exhibitors. When we started, in 2019 there were 25 exhibitors at the fair, all of whom are going to be present this year as well. Today there are as many as 80 of them, so we had to expand the exhibition area, which we're very satisfied with.''

Marko Mikasinovic, head of product development of the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka, is happy about the significant destination potential of the city, which the Rijeka Boat Show fits perfectly into. He believes that we're sailing on a good course, and that the effects for tourism will be greater.

Drazen Tomic, director of the Legal Affairs and Human Resources Department of ACI d.d. noted that the Rijeka Boat Show is a fair whose importance has grown significantly in previous years, which has also been confirmed by the fact that back during previous seasons, despite taking place in the challenging conditions of the global coronavirus pandemic, achieved significant sales results.

''One of the most significant investments in nautical tourism in Croatia, the construction of ACI Marina Rijeka, can certainly give the fair even greater momentum and further strengthen it. We believe that in the coming years, both ACI Marina Rijeka and the Rijeka Boat Show will grow together and profile the City of Rijeka as a relevant nautical destination,'' he concluded.

The director of the commercial affairs department of the Rijeka Port Authority, Captain Rajko Jurman, spoke about significant investments in the port basin and the development of the Port of Rijeka into a modern transport "hub" with the help of funds from the European Union (EU) funds programme.

The organisers expect over 10,000 visitors over the three fair days on the 5,000 m2 surface. The working hours of the fair are on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, and on Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30. Ticket prices are 15 kuna for visitors aged 10 to 18, 30 kuna for adults, while children under 10 can enter for free.

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

Friday, 23 September 2022

Biograd Company Angelina Yacht Charter Now Owns 85% Share in Ultra Sailing

September the 23rd, 2022 - The Biograd company Angelina Yacht Charter has now acquired an 85% share in the Split-based charter company Ultra Sailing, a move which is continuing and furthering the ongoing process of consolidation in this field.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, with this particular acquisition, the largest charter company in all of the Republic of Croatia, which is otherwise the largest charter market in the world, is continuing to blossom.

The joint fleet of a total of more than 260 vessels that will be available to sailors next season will continue to be rented under the existing brands that have established themselves on the market, and will be distributed to cover all parts of the Croatian Adriatic, from Istria all the way down to Dubrovnik.

This will be just one of the advantages of this significant transaction, which was carried out in accordance with the strategic goal of continuous growth of the Biograd company Angelina Yacht Charter, Luka Sangulin, the company's director, explained.

"We've been aware for a long time now that only bigger and stronger players can survive in the unstable market of services that depend on a series of circumstances out there on the global market. At the same time, this sector proved to be very tough and resilient even in the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, when people were thinking of all possible ways to get on board a boat and have time at sea.

The charter season is also a longer one and attracts guests with higher paying power. By taking over the majority stake in Ultra Sailing, we'll be even stronger when it comes to resisting the grouping of large global players that are also present here on the Croatian market, such as Sunsail, Dream Yacht and Navigare," explained Sangulin.

Ultra Sailing is also an authorised dealer for Benetau and Fountaine Pajot boats for the Croatian market, which provides additional strength in a situation that is in shambles as it increases the availability of new boats.

Due to the global situation, there are no new vessels, the crews are under-capacitated, there are no parts, and for many, preparations for the new season is uncertain. Partnership with the world's leading manufacturers therefore also brings a much more secure supply, and the size of the fleet can facilitate competition in the market.

In addition, as noted by Sangulin, consolidation like this strengthens the negotiating position towards the marinas, which have already announced significant price increases for the next season.

The Biograd company Angelina Yacht  Charter currently has seven bases, which are joined by four bases where Ultra Sailing's vessels are also located. It's worth noting that much like the Biograd company, Ultra Sailing has been in the nautical business for almost three decades now, and they currently manage a fleet of more than 50 vessels located in the marinas of ACI Split, Pomer, Dubrovnik and Marina Baotic. Angelina now has 185 vessels in 6 marinas, and Sangulin has since announced the acquisition of 20 more vessels for the next season.

"This merger introduces central procurement and reduces the costs and interventions for many other parts of this business. By increasing the number of bases and their arrangement along the Adriatic, we also get greater coverage, and different types of vessels guarantee us a longer season, and we plan to continue such a policy. The goal is to have boats for the holiday segment, which mostly comes during the main summer season, but also for sport events, regattas, the corporate part, segments that do very well in spring and autumn. The plan is additional fleet growth because if we don't have growth we'll end up with stagnation and then we'll just decline.

In the charter sector, this is the rule because the fleet is aging, which increases maintenance costs and lowers the price of the services. Some guests ask you for boats which are three years old at most, not all of them, but there are some people who do seek that," Sangulin added.

This segment of tourism was the least affected by the global coronavirus pandemic even back in 2020. Last year, the season was also excellent, but it started a little later, so Angelina Yacht will have a 25 to 30 percent increase in income this year. About 70 percent of this increase comes in the form of traffic growth, while the rest will be realised through price increases, mostly on new vessels.

The prices of charter services for the next year are already being formed, and they will go up by 7 to 8 percent on average, which also depends on a number of external factors that enter into pricing. For example, the lack of auxiliary workers led to a drastic increase in cleaning prices this year. As has since been learned from the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ/CNTB) community, in the current part of the year, the nautical sector enjoyed an impressive 465,500 arrivals and 3.1 million overnight stays.

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

Friday, 19 August 2022

Croatian Marinas and Berths Full as Nautical Tourism Reigns Strong

August the 19th, 2022 - Croatian marinas and berths up and down the coastline as full, with people finding it more and more difficult to find a free berth anywhere. Croatian nautical tourism is showing just what a wealth of potential it has.

As Morski writes, back during the global coronavirus pandemic, those visiting Croatia by boat proved to be the most loyal and resilient guests of all. They didn't give up on their holidays and docking in Croatian marinas even during intermittent lockdowns. Therefore, it isn't remotely surprising that this year there have been and continue to be some excellent tourist numbers in the blossoming nautical tourism sector, all over the coast.

Boaters lived up to previous expectations and the season is very good, much better than last year.

''At the ACI marina level, we've already exceeded the results, in the financial sense of course, from pre-pandemic 2019, which for me is excellent. What, for example, last year we did not have, is a significant number of guests from Italy. This year, the Italians also started returning to Croatian marinas quite a lot and in large numbers,'' explained Leo Ajdukovic, the director of ACI Marina Dubrovnik.

Both in down in southern and in the northern part of the Croatian Adriatic, it is difficult to find a free berth in Croatian marinas, and after a good main summer season, a great postseason is also comfortably expected.

''Last year the post-season was absolutely fantastic, it lasted throughout the whole of October, I hope that this year the post-season will also be the same as it was back in 2021, and maybe even last a little longer,'' said Leo Ajdukovic.

This good summer season has also been due to good preparation: ACI's biggest investment this year was in the Dubrovnik marina, and a massive 16 million kuna was invested in 232 metres of new waterfront.

The season down in Dubrovnik is unsurprisingly very good, however, this year will not outdo the record-breaking year of 2019. Compared to 2019, Dubrovnik is at almost 70 percent of arrivals and 80 percent of overnight stays, and the fact that things are finally returning to normal has been shown that the most numerous guests there are from Northern European countries such as Britain etc.

Although there are fewer arrivals and overnight stays overall, according to the first data, earnings should be significantly higher than they were back in 2019, which is logical - all prices have increased, including hotels, restaurants and all that places where tourists spend their money.

This summer season will be remembered for the Peljesac bridge opening and the first results are already visible: there are noticeably more guests on the Peljesac peninsula, and Jadrolinija has introduced another ferry.

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

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Porec Port Authority Close to Outdoing 2019's Number of Overnight Stays

July the 16th, 2022 - The Porec Port Authority is close to recording a number of overnight stays which outdoes the figures recorded back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

It seems that the vast majority of people have well and truly put the global coronavirus pandemic which stole two years of our lives behind them and tourism is returning like never before. Croatian tourism is finally recording enormous numbers and the nautical tourism sector is only continuing to blossom.

As Morski writes, the Porec Port Authority recently announced that the number of vessels on a transit connection there had increased by 16%, while recorded overnight stays increased by 22% when compared to the record year of 2019. The trend of the longer stays of vessels in Porec's ports was also noted.

In the current part of the year, the Porec Port Authority has recorded better results than back during the record year of 2019, meaning their income has jumped by 56%, which is partly the result of larger ships arriving and mooring in the Port of Porec.

As for international traffic, only 8% less was achieved during this part of 2022 than back during the same part of the year in 2019. The reason for this, according to the Porec Port Authority, is the quite significantly altered circumstances on the market in the post-pandemic period. They noted that international traffic was completely absent in 2020, while it only partially returned in 2021. The increase in the price of fuel, which significantly affects international traffic, as well as the more difficult and expensive entry into Venice, which is an area to which sailors from the Porec area also gravitated, also play a part.

In the Port of Porec, the flags of Italy, followed by Germany and Austria were the most numerous on moored vessels.

''We'd like to highlight that there has been an increase in the number of vessels anchoring here in comparison to the coast, while on the coast the number of passenger vessels on domestic cruises has increased with good announcements for next year when the Port of Porec could become the home-port for such increasingly popular cruises,'' said the director of the Porec Port Authority, Branko Curic.

The Porec Port Authority also stated that should be noted that one of the most famous offers of the Port of Porec has returned this year - the international line Porec-Venice line.

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

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Revamped Dubrovnik ACI Marina Finally Welcomes Guests

June the 9th, 2022 - The newly revamped Dubrovnik ACI marina has finally welcomed the first guests following extensive works as part of a massive investment worth 35 million kuna.

The Dubrovnik ACI marina, with its new look, will almost certainly act as an additional lure to those with vessels to travel to Croatia's southernmost city and tourist Mecca this summer season.

As Morski writes, the new Dubrovnik ACI marina has now opened its proverbial doors for the summer tourist season and welcomed guests in a new, very much modernised and refreshed edition.

On the occasion of the opening of the Croatian nautical season, Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sport, Kristjan Stanicic, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), Nikola Dobroslavic, Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Mato Frankovic, Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Kristijan Pavic, President of the ACI Marina management board, Leo Ajdukovic, Director of the newly done up Dubrovnik ACI marina and many other guests gathered together.

Over the past two years, nautical tourism in Croatia has proved to be the most resilient form of tourism and one of the key hopes, not only for tourism, but also for the entire national competitiveness of the Republic of Croatia. One of the secrets of this success certainly lies in the continuous strategic investments in raising the quality of all segments, with the largest chain of marinas in the entire Mediterranean, ACI d.d.

Moreover, in the last five years, ACI has invested a total of 95 million kuna in the excellence of the infrastructure and services of its marinas down in Dubrovnik-Neretva County alone. Given the much greater freedom of movement and the positive indicators so far, the Republic of Croatia expects another extremely successful summer tourist season, with nautical tourism once again having one of the main roles to play in the overall tourism picture of the country.

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

Thursday, 14 April 2022

ACI Marina's Operating Profit Thirteen Million Kuna Higher

April the 14th, 2022 - ACI Marina's operating profit has shot up when compared to last year's recorded revenues, not to mention the fact that there has been significant growth in terms of the amount of vessels.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, last year, this well known company recorded sales growth of 35.9 million kuna when compared to the previous year, as well as growth of physical indicators of 38,000 ship days, according to an annual report released on Tuesday. Based on the daily connection service, there was an increase of 22.6 million kuna or 67 percent when compared to the comparable period.

Moreover, the third quarter (in some segments) exceeded pre-pandemic 2019, the company pointed out. Last year, a positive gross financial result in the amount of 17.1 million kuna and EBITDA in the amount of 83.7 million kuna were also achieved, which is a marked increase of 13.3 million kuna.

"The results we managed to acheive for the year 2021 are above our expectations, especially given the uncertainty and unknowns that marked the previous year and with which we entered 2021. The modification and adjustment of business processes to these new circumstances and the results of our work so far primarily reflected on maintaining financial stability and ACI liquidity,'' said the President of the Management Board, Kristijan Pavic.

The extension of concessions is a prerequisite for further strategic investments and the expansion of ACI Marina's investment portfolio, which in 2021 amounted to a total of 44 million kuna. 23.5 million kuna was invested in the reconstruction of the breakwater in the ACI Marina Korcula, while 7.9 million kuna was invested in infrastructure works in the ACI Marina Dubrovnik.

Significant investments in infrastructure and services were realised at ACI Marina Vodice (2.9 million kuna), ACI Marina Skradin (1.5 million kuna) and ACI Marina Trogir (1.4 million kuna).

In the coming period, the largest investment in nautical tourism in the history of the Republic of Croatia will follow, ad together with partners it will start building the ACI Marina Rijeka.

For more, check out our business section.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

35 Million Kuna Dubrovnik Marina Makeover to Allow for Bigger Yachts

March the 17th, 2022 - The Dubrovnik marina (ACI Dubrovnik) is undergoing a massive 35 million kuna revamp in order to allow it to accommodate larger yachts and other such vessels.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the Dubrovnik marina (ACI) is now at the end of the development project through capital investments in which it has undergone the largest infrastructure works in the last 30 years. This is the key of this investment for much-needed development in order to properly keep up with current nautical trends.

In the new season, the Dubrovnik marina will be ready to answer an increasing number of inquiries for vessels of 20 metres in length and more, and there are more and more of them coming in, as confirmed by the director of ACI Marina Dubrovnik, Leo Ajdukovic.

"In order to remain at the very top of global nautical science, the constant development of infrastructure and services is needed. Therefore, the demolition of the pier and the construction of the coastal wall in the marina is underway. These works will enable the entry of vessels which are four to five metres longer than before, which is in line with nautical trends.

The vessels that come to our marinas, especially to the Dubrovnik marina, are growing every year. The reconstruction will provide as much as 220 metres of new shoreline for larger ships. The reconstruction of the infrastructure in the entire marina is also being carried out, which includes water supply and drainage, electricity and installations, and lighting. The value of the construction of the coastal wall and the reconstruction of the infrastructure stands at around 35 million kuna,'' stated Ajdukovic.

The deadline for completion of the construction of the coastal wall is scheduled for the beginning of this year's tourist season, the deadline for completion of the infrastructure reconstruction is scheduled even earlier, and all activities going on in the Dubrovnik marina are doing so smoothly.

In the next phases, the construction of a service zone is planned, which will be the largest in the southern part of the Adriatic, which will significantly increase the level of nautical services on offer.

The new service zone will centralise several service units on an area spanning ​​more than 1000 m2, which are currently located in several places in the marina. It will be one of the most modern and largest service zones in this part of the Adriatic. Within it, hangars are planned that would enable work on vessels even in rainy weather, which is a great advantage and will significantly increase the efficiency and quality of their offered services. All of the necessary documentation is currently being prepared for all of the above.

It is also envisaged that some services will be provided by business partners, as in other ACI marinas, so the decision on possible additional employment will be made by the business partner in charge of running that service.

Furthermore, the reconstruction of the Sorkocevic palace is planned, which is protected as a cultural asset and entered in the Register of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture. This is a project that was initially estimated at around 60 million kuna, but in the conditions of rising prices for energy, fuel and construction materials, there is an expectation that they will "revise" the value.

All this, they are convinced in ACI, will position the popular Dubrovnik marina among the ranks of those at the very top of global nautical tourism.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Ploce Nautical Tourism Port Construction May Transform it into Tourist Town

March the 1st, 2022 - Ploce in southern Dalmatia might be close geographically to the City of Dubrovnik, but it isn't anywhere near on the same level or even on the same path when it comes to tourism, at least until now. Could the construction of the Ploce nautical tourism port transform this town into a tourist destination?

As Morski writes, the preparation of the documentation necessary for the beginning of the construction of the Ploce nautical tourism port has begun. In addition, Ploce's local administration plans to finally put into operation the abandoned camp located at the mouth of the Neretva River there.

As far as the camp is concerned, the planning and spatial plans are both ready, and Ploce has received approval from the Ministry of Construction for a unified procedure of targeted amendments to the spatial plan and the urban development plan. The whole story has yet to be announced in full detail by the council there, after which the land can be leased, and Ploce will, according to HRT, provide the investor with all the necessary infrastructure.

Ver soon, the fate of the planned Ploce nautical tourism port with a capacity of 400 berths in the Bacina area should be known. The local Ploce administration claims that they are still waiting for the assessment of the prepared environmental impact study, and the acquisition of a location permit and the determination of the border of the maritime domain is in progress. After that, all of the collected documentation will be sent off to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, which is the body announcing the concession. The best bidder is then selected to prepare the main project, after which construction can begin.

Ploce and its surroundings have great potential for the development of nautical tourism, at least according to the local tourist board, which claims that the arrival of tourists would kickstart the construction of hotels, which, on the stretch from Metkovic and Opuzen to Ploce - are chronically missing. Tourists are currently staying mostly with private renters, who cannot complain about the interest of guests they've had from abroad and at home so far.

''We're expecting some great tourist traffic because people have already heard about the Bacina Lakes, the Neretva estuary, kite surfing and our outdoor activity offers, so the number of visitors will be higher than it was in previous years,'' said the director of the Ploce Tourist Board, Maja Erak.

The fact is that the recent opening up of the long awaited, very much anticipated Peljesac Bridge which will connect Croatian territory with the extreme south of Dalmatia will affect the distribution of tourists on the country's coast, and Ploce could have some new doors and new opportunities made available to it.

For more, check out our travel section.

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