As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while most facilities, from hotels to campsites, expect a more massive arrival of guests from mid-June onwards, the height of the summer tourist season in Croatian marinas has long since begun. There are no free berths left in many of them, and it seems that more and more wealthy sailors are coming to Croatia, reports HRT.
There is no free berth to speak of, for example, in the Pula marina. The owners of the largest ships have at least a three-member crew that they pay for all year round, and they sail the Croatian Adriatic only during the summer months.
“They spend very well, you know, we always sleep in marinas, there are costs, of course, they go out to restaurants in the evening, and the groceries they use on board cost a lot, they aren’t just your average things, so they’re good consumers,” said Anton Cukon.
Those spending time in Croatia owing to nautical tourism tend to spend twice as much as the average guest and more and more of the wealthiest among them are docking in Croatian marinas.
“Every day we receive inquiries for much larger vessels. We used to have inquiries for ships of 15-16 metres in length, and now, on a weekly basis, there are inquiries for over 25 metre vessels. What’s the cause of this, what do you think? There’s obviously a surplus of money in the world,” believes Aleksandar Suran, the director of the marina Veruda, Pula.
In the marina in Rovinj – only the largest boats are present. Renovated three years ago, the latest technological and service standards have brought it a maximum of five anchors, seeing it attract many who otherwise went to other countries.
“We’ve filled all of our capacities for annual berths and we have no problems in the sense of poor announcements, in fact more berths are needed, so we already have a waiting list,” said Goran Bilic, the director of ACI Marina Rovinj.
“We came to Rovinj because we bought a new, bigger boat. And here we have all the necessary infrastructure,” said Andreas, a sailor from Austria.
The Marina Association warns that further investments in Croatian marinas are questionable. Namely, most of them will have their concessions expire in 2030, after which a public tender will be announced.
“You can’t invest some serious funds now, in 2022, and expect to depreciate them by 2030. That’s why we ask that such a possibility be left for the existing Croatian marinas to decide whether they want to continue,” explained Sean Lisjak, president of the Marina Association.
In order for existing Croatian marinas to have an advantage in such tenders, at least three ministries must agree: the Ministry of Maritime Affaits, Tourism and, of course, the Minstry of Finance.