Zadar Not to Limit Number of Cruise Ships Any Time Soon

By 1 September 2017

Unlike Dubrovnik, the Port Authority in Zadar doesn't intend to limit the number of cruise ships entering the city's waters

As every cruise ship passenger is a welcome guest in Zadar, the city intends to raise the number of arrivals from this year's 130.000 to the desired 170.000 in 2018, reports on August 31, 2017.

Đoni Štambuk, assistant marketing director at the Port Authority Zadar said that comparisons of Zadar with Dubrovnik or Split might be a bit out of place in this case. "The number of cruise ship arrivals in ports in Dubrovnik and Split far surpasses the one we're seeing in Zadar, but since we built and opened Gaženica port, we're experiencing improvement in that segment. The number of cruise ship passengers increased from 20.000 or 30.000 to the current 130.000, which we consider impressive growth, and the future possibilities are unlimited", Štambuk stated.

"We had an increase of 17% in the first six months of this year, but we'll see some stagnation before the end of 2017 and end up leveling with last year's numbers. The new limit on passengers announced by Dubrovnik and Split will mean a loss of 40 ship arrivals, but we won't be considerably affected by that. I think we'll see up to 170 ship arrivals and 170.000 passengers next year", he added.

The situation in Zadar drastically changed after Gaženica port was opened. The new port can accommodate all types of cruise ships, and the tourism sector was also enriched by the improved offer of day trips in the area. Compared with other Adriatic ports, guests tend to spend more time in Zadar then in other cities on the coast; while cruise ship passengers stay in Dubrovnik for 4-5 hours on average, they spend 8-10 hours in Zadar.

Probable reasons include trips to Plitvice Lakes, the National Park Krka and other similar destinations; as such trips can't be organised in a shorter time frame, tourists tend to stick around a while longer. Not an inconsiderable fact, as an average tourist spends 10 more euro with each passing hour.

According to a study published by the Tourism Institute in 2007, an average cruise ship passenger spends 82 euro in Zadar. It's not the only income from cruise ships, as any ship docking in Zadar is required to pay port charges amounting up to 10.000 euro, as well as many other smaller fees. "There are many benefits from cruise ships, and in the coming years, we aim to further increase their value", concluded Štambuk.