New Law on Maritime Domain Key to Croatian Nautical Tourism Success?

Lauren Simmonds

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As Novac writes, last year, nautical tourism became the main star of Croatian tourism, which is no wonder, considering that it easily enables the observance of all epidemiological protection measures such as social distancing.

Life with the novel coronavirus

Although almost a year and a half of adaptation to life with coronavirus is now behind us, the epidemiological situation is much better, and we have a vaccine, we believe that Croatian nautical tourism will repeat last year’s success and once again show how much of an important part of the overall Croatian tourist offer it really is. Especially if we take into account the fact that Croatian nautical tourism, at least in terms of its income, directly contributes to the development of other selective forms of tourism such as eno-gastronomic tourism, and is especially important for pre- and post-season results.

All this is already known as we know that Croatia has the largest charter fleet in the world, consisting of about 4,500 vessels, and that the consumption of nautical tourists is almost twice the average, according to the latest TOMAS survey, a charter guest spends 183 euros a day.

What we desperately need, says the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism Dragan Kovacevic, is to talk about the key problems of the competitiveness of Croatian nautical tourism. We need to talk about the future, about the new strategy of Croatian tourism which on the one hand should ensure the sustainable development of nautical tourism while preserving our coastline and sea, and on the other hand remove obstacles, especially administrative and legal ones, for stronger investment and overall competitiveness of this sector.

Quality standards

Last year was extremely difficult for everyone, in every imaginable way. The Croatian Government responded in a timely manner and thanks to its crisis measures, we preserved liquidity and jobs. On the other hand, nautical companies are currently struggling and typically don’t have enough funds to invest in development, so the sector is being actively threatened by obsolescence and declining quality.

For marinas, on the other hand, the precondition for further development is the transformation into “floating sea resorts” and moving away from the mere function of docking for ships.

“The precondition for this is the new Law on Maritime Domain, ie its amendments that would solve the legal uncertainty and uncertainty that existing concessionaires have, but also create preconditions for new investments and development and increase the quality of service,” explained the vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Croatia has more than 30,000 km² of coastal sea, 1244 islands, cliffs and reefs and Croatian nautical tourism, it is an addition to high value-added tourism that prolongs the season and that’s precisely why we must not miss this unique opportunity that lies ahead of us.

Croatia nautical tourism fits into the defined reform goals of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026 in the context of changing the structure of accommodation capacities, reducing seasonal and territorial concentration and sustainable resilient tourism that has high indirect effects and income.

“As much as 2.2 billion kuna will go to the tourism sector from the NPOO. the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is cooperating in drafting program,e documents, of which 96% are through grant agreements, which is positive because tourism companies aren’t ready after having to take out Covid loans and pay interest on moratoriums on leasing and existing investment loans, to enter into new financial commitments, nor into investments in ”green and digital”, which will require a high percentage of their co-financing,” concluded Vice President Kovacevic.

For more on Croatian nautical tourism, follow our dedicated travel section.


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