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Risposte Turismo: Adriatic Sea Forum – Cruise, Ferry, Sail & Yacht returns to Dubrovnik

On Thursday 4 and Friday 5 May, Dubrovnik will be hosting the itinerant international event dedicated to sea tourism in the Adriatic conceived and organised by Risposte Turismo.

The sixth edition of the forum will host ten encounters and discussions on the present and future of sea tourism in the Adriatic. The Croatian Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, the President of ESPO, European Sea Port Organisation, the Director of tourism, proximity and digitalisation of the European Commission’s DG GROW and the CEO of the European Travel Commission from Brussels will be among the speakers expected during the two days of discussions and business networking.

On Thursday 4 and Friday 5 May, Dubrovnik will be hosting the Adriatic Sea Forum – Cruise, Ferry, Sail & Yacht 2023, the itinerant international event dedicated to sea tourism in the Adriatic conceived and organised by Risposte Turismo, the sixth edition of which will be held in partnership with the Dubrovnik Port Authorityand City of Dubrovnik.

Launched in 2013, the forum has over the years become a benchmark event for all operators in the cruise, ferry and nautical sectors, and will once again offer the opportunity to meet and engage with participants, already confirmed, from 15 different countries. In addition to the seven that look onto the Adriatic (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia), over 200 operators and professionals have already been accredited from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Montecarlo, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In the conference rooms of Dubrovnik’s Royal Ariston, entrepreneurs and managers of shipbuilding companies, maritime agencies, port terminals, tour operators, travel agencies, marinas and small ports, nautical charter companies, shipyards and other organisations will be joining representatives of Governments, Public Administrations and national and international bodies for a two-day event that will comprise business networking opportunities, discussions and debates on the opportunities still to be grasped in the Adriatic, and on new ways in which sea tourism can be developed in the area.

“We are pleased to be meeting again in Dubrovnik after the 2015 edition. In recent years, sea tourism has witnessed a significant acceleration and a number of changes, from the spread of digital technology to the emergence of new segments of demand, to name but two, coupled with other aspects, in particular the fame and brand attraction of the Adriatic as a tourist destination, that still have significant potential to become increasingly competitive compared to other areas in the Mediterranean and worldwide”, explained Risposte Turismo President Francesco di Cesare”.

“We will be opening the Adriatic Sea Forum”, continued di Cesare, “with a presentation of the results of the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report, containing the statistics and the information updated by Risposte Turismo for all the segments of the maritime tourism sector. We will be presenting a detailed account of all the data and trends regarding the Adriatic, which in 2022 registered a total of 22 million people moving through more than 50 ports for the cruise and ferry segments alone, and with a structured, wide-ranging offer for the nautical sector, composed of 330 facilities offering an overall capacity of more than 200 berths for yachts of over 50 metres long. We will also be focusing on the dynamics that even before the pandemic witnessed, and continue to witness, signs of a slowdown in this area, or at least a failure to accelerate; it is important to examine these signs, so we can understand how to programme our choices for the future”.

“Once again this year, we have chosen themes we believe are central to the future of the Adriatic, including the need to identify formulas able to balance economic growth with the sustainability of areas and their communities, and on which we expect to see discussion among the representatives of the cruise, ferry and nautical segments, as well as of tourist destinations in the Adriatic” concluded di Cesare.

“It is a great honour and pleasure for us to host the international maritime event Adriatic Sea Forum again after eight years in Dubrovnik. The Adriatic Sea Forum offers numerous opportunities for dialogue and networking, exchange of knowledge and experience, ideas and strategies with main international stakeholders”, explained Blaž Pezo – General Manager of the Dubrovnik Port Authority. “For two days, Dubrovnik will be the capital of cruise, ferry and nautical tourism. The Adriatic Sea Forum will take place in Dubrovnik the first week of May, 10 years after the first edition of Adriatic Sea Forum. During the event, we will be glad to present our multidisciplinary strategic destination management project Respect the City. The Adriatic Sea Forum will draw attention from cruise, ferry and nautical sectors to Dubrovnik from all over Europe and all over the world”.

“It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Adriatic Sea Forum in Dubrovnik, in this 1940-meter long defensive stone walls, in this UNESCO World Heritage Site but also famous tourist destination” explained Mato Franković, Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik. “In order to protect our valuable heritage and evaluate public space, also preserve the integrity of the local populace, we focused our tourism on sustainable development. For all of you who are interested in the maritime and tourism sectors this Forum is a chance to update it, to learn and also to share your knowledge. I am sure that Dubrovnik will inspire you to do it in the best possible way, with a focus on sustainability and Adriatic Sea protection”.

The themes and the speakers of the sixth edition

The main themes that will characterise the round table discussions, speeches and presentations featured in the Adriatic Sea Forum 2023 will include strategies and formulas designed to balance the interests of the sector operators with the sustainability of the areas, economic growth and employment, how and where to find the demand for the additional offer on its way thanks to new investment products in the nautical sector, the relaunch of holiday travel by ferry, the potential of the Adriatic “brand”, the room for growth in the large yacht segment and the future of cruise travel in the area.

This year’s programme will also feature a new session, entitled “What’s New in the Adriatic”, in which a number of new developments for the future will be included, as well as a closing focus devoted to sea tourism in Croatia, with the aims to be achieved in the coming years in the light of the numerous development projects currently under way or recently completed.

The Forum will also offer the opportunity to listen to the perspective of the European Commission on maritime tourism in the Adriatic, with Valentina Superti – Director, Tourism, proximity and digitalisation, DG Grow – European Commission and a technical speech on the new Croatian legislative framework for maritime tourism with Josip Bilaver, State Secretary at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.

All 40 speakers will be physically present at the Forum, and will include: Oleg Butković, Croatian Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure; Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission; Valentina Superti, Director, Tourism, proximity and digitalisation, DG Grow – European Commission; Kristijan Pavic, CEO of ACI Marinas, Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General of CLIA Europe; Zeno D’Agostino, President of ESPO, the European Sea Port Organisation and of the Eastern Adriatic Port Authority; Ajka Matijevic, founder of A+ Yachting; Athanasios Porfirys, CEO of the Port of Igoumenitsa, and David Sopta, President and CEO of the Jadrolinija ferry company, Roberto Perocchio, President of ASSOMARINAS, Spyridon Almpertis, Vice President Port Ops, Itinerary Planning & Fuel Management of Crystal Cruises, Frédérique Patry, Senior Manager Itinerary Design of Silversea, Elisabetta De Nardo, Vice President Port Development of MSC Cruises.

The Adriatic Sea Forum will take place in English, with translations provided in Italian and Croatian.

The event is sponsored by Bassani Group and Dubrovnik Airport.