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The future of Croatian nautical tourism

20.08.2019. | Interesting news from tourism

Croatia has the largest charter fleet in the world: as many as 4378 yachts and boats for charter. This year was a 5% increase of vessel market in the charter offer.

This year, nautical tourism has 3% less arrivals and nights spent on vessels. But Kornati nautical tourism is in a plus, and they are planning further development - in the fall they are starting to set up 224 buoys for mooring ships, as part of a 50 million HRK worth European project.

If paradise has the sea, it would be like the one of Kornati. As far as the eye goes, one can see the blueness crowned by cliffs and islets. The National Park makes great numbers. Statistics for 2019 notes: a record 13% sailings uptake.

They are convinced in the park that when the EU Rediviva Kurnata project opens the door of the “House of the Crowned Sea”, a visitor center in Vrulje will attract more visitors.

Our competition in nautical tourism today is very high quality and efficient. The market is more demanding - standards in nautics are higher and higher. This year in Croatian nautical tourism 3% less arrivals and nights spent on vessels. Is this decline a cause for concern?

Kristijan Pavić, president of ACI, said for Croatian Television that compared to last season the figures are within the expected level, at the level of last year. He emphasizes that they want to invest and raise quality, which is extremely important that the law of Maritime Property and Seaports comes to life.

ACI has 22 marinas and two anchorages from Umag to Dubrovnik, and maritime concession contracts expire in 2030, which is an extremely big problem.

- All serious investments are subject to detailed analysis and it is difficult to find a quality investment in such a short term. It is crucial for ACI to extend concessions, he said.

As an example of the move ACI is making, it cited a reconstructed marina in Rovinj, in which 150 million HRK has been invested and adapted to today's requirements of sailers.

Ivan Soža, president of Šibenik County Chamber, said for HRT that there was no cause for concern, because according to official data from the Ministry of the Sea, by July 15, there were 3% more arrivals, as many of overnight stays, that is 240.000 arrivals and 1.5 million overnights. He says that forecasts show that this season will be at least at last year's level.

He explains that there are over 5% more vessels on the charter market this year, which increases the base for generating arrivals and decreases revenue per ship.

- The time of double digits in the number of arrivals in charter vessels is over. Compared to competing countries, we have optimally used infrastructure in marinas, anchorages and ports open to public transport. We have reached a certain level and cannot go forward unless we continually invest in nautical infrastructure. Our marinas are completely competitive when it comes to infrastructure, and we have the best or largest charter offer in the world, making us a nautical superpower. Greece provides subsidies to charter companies. "We are fed up in this segment and we do not have the resources to go higher percentages," he said.

The sea of the Kornati National Park is still a great bait for sailers. The Kornati records the plus points. This year, they can boast with a record of 13% sailings uptake. When asked what the formula for success is, National park director Šime Ježina says: We were attractive and we will stay that way.

- There are sailors from all over the world, primarily from Germany, Austria and Italy, but also from the USA and Russia. We have about 200,000 visitors, which is the maximum. We would like the Kornati to become a year-round tourist and educational destination, he said.

He also spoke about the 57 million HRK Rediviva Kurnata project. The project has 16 sub-projects, and the most important was the construction of visitor infrastructure. The "Crowned Sea House" will be built as the first point inside the park where visitors can get to know the Kornati estates through modern multimedia facilities. The goal is to bring visitors to see these estates, he said, emphasizing the importance of dialogue with the locals, since the mainland part of the Kornati is 100% owned by owners from Murter and Betina.

AUTHOR: Roko Kvestić
SOURCE: turizmoteka/HRT