August 8, 2019 – The cruise ship numbers in Croatia keep on growing, reports the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.
Cruise tourism is booming, and nowhere more so than Croatia, which is reporting a big rise in traffic for the first 6 months of 2019, according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics:
In the first six months of 2019, 272 journeys of foreign vessels on cruise were realised.
In the period from January to June 2019, there were 54 foreign vessels on cruise that arrived in Croatian seaports, which realised 272 journeys. There were 409 thousand passengers on board who stayed for 554 days in Croatia.
The highest number of cruises was realised by vessels under the flags of Malta (72 cruises) and Italy (45 cruises), while the highest number of passengers on board the arrived vessels were under the flags of Italy (108 thousand passengers) and Panama (100 thousand passengers).
Out of a total of 272 journeys of foreign vessels on cruise, the majority was realised in the County of Dubrovnik-Neretva (60.3%) and the County of Split-Dalmatia (25.3%), which makes up the total of 85.6%. The remaining 14.4% of journeys were realised in the following counties: Zadar (5.9%), Istria (4.8%), Primorje-Gorski kotar (2.6%) and Šibenik-Knin (1.1%).
The most visited seaport was the seaport of Dubrovnik, followed by the seaports of Split and Zadar
The majority of visits of foreign vessels on cruise were realised in the seaport of Dubrovnik (195 visits), followed by the seaports of Split (104 visits) and Zadar (45 visits).
Increase in the number of journeys, passengers and sojourns of foreign vessels on cruise
In the period from January to June 2019, the number of journeys of foreign vessels on cruise increased by 10.6% and the total number of sojourns by 6.1%, as compared to the same period of 2018. In the aforementioned period of 2019, the number of passengers on board increased by 14.8%, as compared to the same period of 2018.
(Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics)
The busiest ports. It is interesting to note that Split’s expansion in hosting cruise shop tourism continues. It is now at 53% of Dubrovnik’s numbers in terms of ships visiting.
One of the challenges for destinations and cruise tourism in Croatia is that the destinations have little to no control on cruise ship numbers, as this is controlled by the Port Authority. For the Port Authority, more ships means more revenue.
It is interesting to note that the Ministry of Tourism’s 7-year strategic plan from 2013 – 2020 had a focus on maritime ecology at the heart of its strategy. A little like the 30 golf courses promised next year but none yet started, the ecology pledge of 2013 seems to have little to do with the 2019 reality and the expanding cruise ship tourism sector.