Seven European port cities – including Zadar and Rijeka in Croatia – are joining forces to improve the logistics and planning of the transportation-related impacts of cruise tourism, reports HRTurizam on January 18, 2017.
Cruise tourism is a growing sector in Croatia, and according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, from January to December 2015, 768 cruises were realized in the Republic of Croatia. On these cruises, 1,048,229 passengers stayed in Croatia for 1,564 days, which is an average of two days per passenger. Compared to the same period in 2014, the number of cruises have increased by 9.7% and the number of passengers who entered Croatia increased by 2.6%. The total number of passengers’ sojourns in the same period increased by 1.0%.
As for 2016, the data available for the period from January to November indicates that the number of trips in the same period in 2015 increased by 7.0%, the number of passengers increased by 3.7%, while the total number of sojourns in the same period increased by 14.1%.
Zadar and Rijeka have also recorded a growth in cruise traffic over the last three years. The trend of growth data indicates that at the Port of Zadar, the number of passengers in the Zadar area from 2014 to 2016 almost tripled – thus, in 2014 the number of passengers equaled 53,791, in 2015 it equaled 70,366, while last year that number had risen to 136,462. From 2015, Rijeka began to emerge in the travel plans of cruise shipping companies and in 2015, Rijeka was visited by 9,082 passengers, while the number in 2016 increased to 13,874 passengers from cruise ships.
On the one hand, this type of tourism offers local economies significant opportunities to increase international brand identity. On the other hand, it can pose a number of challenges for local, urban and suburban transport and transport networks, particularly during the loading and unloading of passengers, the loading and unloading of goods, and cruiser services.
Project LOCATIONS is a low-carbon transport project for cruise destinations that deals with the associated impacts of cruise tourism by supporting the local authorities in the development of low-carbon mobility plans, including specific measures intended to optimize ways of dealing with passengers on cruise ships, goods, and services flow.
LOCATIONS, which is funded by the Transnational Cooperation for the Mediterranean through the European Regional Development Fund, is coordinated by AREA Science Park in Trieste. The partnership consists of twenty organizations and institutions from Italy, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Albania, with a space of seven European cruise destinations: Lisbon, Malaga, Zadar, Rijeka, Ravenna, Trieste and Durres.
As part of the project, there will be a developed and tested methodology for creating low-carbon mobility plans which aims to respond to the individual needs identified in the participating port cities. The idea of the project is to define a modular package of measures that contribute to the relief of traffic in urban areas and the reduction of pollution and environmental impact, designed to be easily transferred to other port cities and countries in the Mediterranean region. The project is provided for specific activities – aimed at raising awareness of passengers, for the importance of sustainable transport in urban areas, and to improve the quality of life in cities.
The goal of the project is to contribute to defining LOCATIONS plans for the sustainable management of traffic flows generated by cruise tourism in the context of broader strategic plans of port cities, such as sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP) and the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The challenge standing in front of the project partners is the planning of mobility solutions for the transport of passengers with the cruise ships and cargo flows in a way to preserve the natural and cultural resources in cities, resorts, and to protect their attractiveness over time.