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The 4th edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum kicks off in Ancona


Over 420 million of euros spent in tourism shopping on land by cruise, ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran passengers in 2018. 5,52 million of cruise passenger movements expected in 2019 (+7,3% in 2018) – a historic record of the area.

Significant economic impacts in the area caused by cruise, ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran tourism. There is a possibility for the historical record in cruise traffic at the end of 2019, which would demonstrate the vitality of area’s industry.

Positive prospects for the current season also for passenger movements on ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans, thanks to new connecting routes. 

The nautical sector faces uncertainty, being caught between the optimism of marinas and charter companies and the search for the balance in the offer of berths. 

This is the picture of sea tourism in the Adriatic portrayed in the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report which is a research report presented by Francesco di Cesare, the President of Risposte Turismo, in the opening of the fourth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht, an event conceived and organized by Risposte Turismo, this year in partnership with the Central Adriatic Ports Authority.

Over 420 million of euros spent in tourism shopping on land in 2018 by cruise, ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran passengers. 

In the analysis by Risposte Turismo, over 420 million of euros were spent in tourism shopping on land (excursions, visits, overnight stays etc.) in 2018 by cruise passengers and those who decide on travelling by ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran for their holidays in the Adriatic.

Cruises: a historical record in cruise passenger movements in the area is expected by the end of 2019
As far as cruise traffic is concerned, according to the study carried out by Risposte Turismo in 2019, there will be 5,52 million of passenger movements (embarkments, disembarkments and transits) in the Adriatic ports – a growth by 7,3% compared to 2018.

It is a result that will, if confirmed, will mark a historical record in passenger movements at the end of the year in 30 ports of the area. 

Risposte Turismo’s forecasts on ship calls show a growth of 7,2% for a total of 3.307.

These are the fruit of a forecast given by Risposte Turismo evaluating of 23 cruise ports in the Adriatic – the calls which altogether represented 99,7% of the total passenger movements and 99,3% of ship calls in 2018. 

The current year should come to an end with Venice firmly in the first place with 1,56 million of cruise passenger movements (stable compared to 2018) and 502 ship calls (stable, compared to 2018), followed by Corfu with 787 thousand cruise passengers (+7%) and 416 ship calls (+0,7%) and Dubrovnik, with 745 thousand cruise passengers (1,8%) and ship calls (+8,4).

Italy the leader in passenger movements, Croatia in ship calls 
As for cruise traffic of every country, the data of 2018 confirm the leadership of Italy with 2,42 passenger movements (+12% out of 46,9% in total in the Adriatic area in 2017). It’s followed by Croatia with 1,3 million of passenger movements (25,2% of total). Croatia is a leader in the number of ship calls, though (1.180 which is 37,7% of total). The next one is Greece with 737 million of passenger movements.  

The biggest growth in the 2017 was the one of Slovenia, thanks to the numbers of the port of Koper (101 thousand passenger movements, +40,5%), while the greatest decline was Albania’s (-19,1%) caused by the reduction of cruise traffic in the port of Saranda (78,2 thousand passenger movements, -23,2%). 

Ferries: the interest is growing thanks to new travel offers 
Adriatic Sea Tourism Report contains also the 2019 forecasts related to the passenger movements on ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans. According to Risposte Turismo, the current year should come to an end with a slight increase compared to the positive results registered in 2018 (19,74 million of passenger movements, +2,4% in 2017), the biggest one in the last 10 years.

Out of the ports evaluated, 2019 has positive forecasts for Zadar (2,43 million of passenger movements, +1,2%), Dubrovnik ( 575 thousand, +3%), Sibenik ( 300 thousand, +3%), Rijeka (150 thousand, +16%), Pula (12 thousand, +2,2% in cruise routes and stable in international routes). The movement in the ports of Ancona, Saranda, Porec, Trieste, Rovinj, Pesaro and Umag/Novigrad is expected to be stable.

According to the analysis of passenger movement on ferries/hydrofoils and catamarans registered in 2018, Croatia is confirmed to be in the first place among the countries in the Adriatic, without taking into consideration internal routes (9,56 millions of passenger movements, +0,7% in 2017, which is 48,4% of the total in the area), followed by Greece (5,39 million, +7% in 2017, which is 27,3% of the total) and Italy (3,29 million, +1,8 in 2017, 16,7% of the total).

In the last two seasons it should be mentioned the reopening of international ferry routes to and for Montenegro with the Bar-Bari route operated by Jadrolinija, like the fast routes Civitanova Marche-Hvar and Cesenatico and Croatian islands. 

Italy as the leader in the nautical tourism of the Adriatic with 186 marinas and over 49 thousand berths
The report conducted by Risposte Turismo contains an in-depth study in the nautical sector of 7 countries that face the Adriatic this year as well. Carrying on the work of the research started in 2013 with the first edition of the report, the mapping confirms the results of the data collected in 2017 with 332 operative marinas that comprise a little bit less than 75 thousand berths.

Among the countries that face the Adriatic, Italy confirms its leadership in the area with 186 marinas (56% out of the total) and more than 49 thousand berths (65,6% out of the total). It’s followed by Croatia (125 marinas and over 17.400 berths) and Slovenia along with Montenegro, with 8 marinas and a bit less than 3.100 and 2.800 berths, respectively.

A uncertain scenario arises from the analysis into the marinas on the Italian side of the Adriatic: if on one hand there are structures still facing the period of difficulty, continuing to operate waiting for new investments and the restart of the market, on the other hand there are important extensions of other 2.570 berths in the next biennium.

However, a positive progress was registered on the eastern side of the Adriatic with the recent aperture of ACI Marina Rovinj (196 berths), the most important investment in the Croatian nautical sector and the company that manages it, ACI Club. There are also 3 new structures expected to open in the summer of 2019 in Montenegro and an important project for the construction of a luxury complex in Albania with more than 700 berths.  

Moreover, the report contains the 2019 forecasts on the sample of 49 marinas and 19 charter companies located in the Adriatic. 

A significant stability in the future clientele emerges from the research for all the samples interviewed. However, those who predict a variation, have mostly expressed a positive expectation. 

“Sea tourism is a precious resource for all the countries that face the Adriatic” says Francesco di Cesare, the President of Risposte Turismo. “The result of this new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report" continues di Cesare "confirm a growing interest in this phenomenon by public administration, private companies and individual professionals, which demonstrates the strong potential of the area still not entirely realised.”
“While the cruise traffic" adds di Cesare "despite the issues to be faced in Venice, grows significantly this year in the Adriatic thanks to the work accomplished by other operators in the area, the ferry sector continues to have double sides. On the one hand its importance in the transport of tourists in the Adriatic and the many possibilities of growth are highlighted, on the other hand tardiness in the sense of standard is registered, for example in the offer and promotion which other means of transport have already adopted in time.”   

“For the nautical sector" concludes di Cesare "the indications that we have collected in our research predict a positive 2019. This could be translated into a main occupation of the marinas which today, with their dimensions and standard, are ready to welcome the highest levels of traffic.”

The fourth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum, sponsored by Global Ports Holding and MedCruise, will proceed today with two round tables dedicated to decisions and actions that will help the growth of sea tourism in the Adriatic with respect to the environment. 

The meetings of the day complete with a focus on the extra- Adriatic Cluster Nautico di Barcellona - an example of excellence in the maritime tourism in the Mediterranean and three technical sessions about the priorities to establish in order to facilitate the growth in the cruise, ferry and nautical sector of the Adriatic. 

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