ŽLU Cres Director Anton Opatić On 2021 Nautical Season and Plans for Cres Island

Daniela Rogulj

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What results did ŽLU Cres achieve in the field of nautical tourism last year? What are the expectations for this season?

Although the nautical season in 2020 lasted shorter than in previous years, Croatia recorded only slightly lower income than in 2019, thanks to epidemiological measures that we adjusted in time, which helped us better organize for the season. The same situation was in the ports of the island of Cres. Compared to the previous year, ŽLU Cres in 2020 generated about 60% of revenues, precisely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the current year, we expect an increase in traffic.

Do you think that nautical tourism will be largely responsible for “saving” the tourist season this year as well?

Compared to other forms of tourism, nautical tourism last year proved to be the most resilient to the changes and challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe that good results will be achieved in this sector this year, which will greatly contribute to the overall tourism results. Nautics is extremely resistant to Covid-19, which is why it is crucial to continue investing in its additional development along the entire Adriatic coast, including the island of Cres, which we at ŽLU Cres will continue to insist on to develop island tourism further.


What is the nautical offer of ŽLU Cres? How many ports and berths does it have?

The County Port Authority of Cres manages six ports: Cres, Merag, Porozina, Martinšćica, Valun, and Beli and has 627 berths total, of which about 90 are nautical. The largest number of nautical berths is located in the town of Cres, where the largest revenues from nautical tourism are generated.

What does ŽLU Cres do in terms of improving the port infrastructure?

In the town of Cres, the project “Reconstruction and extension of the western part of Cres port” is in the final phase, which will ensure a better connection between the island population of Cres and the islets of the Cres archipelago. The project’s total value is almost 40 million kuna, of which the Central Agency for Financing and Contracting of EU Programs and Projects and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure have awarded grants for about 34 million kuna. The project built a breakwater 185 meters long and 6 meters wide, with an operational shoreline for liner passenger ships. The coastal access pedestrian road to the city center was reconstructed and extended. The plan is to continue investing in the Cres port infrastructure worth 80 million kuna, more specifically in the ports of Valun and Martinšćica, which will create preconditions for further development of nautical tourism and increase the number of liner passenger vessels.

What can the island of Cres offer to its guests?

The island of Cres is the largest Croatian island, and its location and facilities have always been interesting to many visitors. Places located on the shores of the island of Cres are especially interesting for sailing enthusiasts, and continuous investment in the maintenance and quality of ports under the jurisdiction of ŽLU Cres are our priorities and key guidelines for further development. Apart from the town of Cres, where tourism is the most developed and offers a rich historical and cultural heritage and gastronomic specialties, it is definitely worth mentioning the settlements of Beli, Martinšćica, and Valun, which are also very visited by lovers of history, culture, and nature.

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