An increase in interest in Rijeka as a cruising destination
A working group meeting of the Commission for the Development of Rijeka as a cruising destination that took place int he Porto f Rijeka Authority on December 3, 2018, was followed by a press conference. The results of the past joint cooperation activities were presented by mr. Vojko Obersnel, Mayor of the City of Rijeka, Ms. Irena Peršić Živadinov, Director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Petar Škarpa, Director of the Tourist Board of Rijeka and Mr. Denis Vukorepa, Director of the Rijeka Port Authority.
At the beginning of 2018, the Commission in the operative composition of the City of Rijeka, the Kvarner Tourist Board, the Rijeka Tourist Board and the Port Authority of Rijeka started with preparatory activities that were successfully implemented during the arrival of announced crowns. The Port Authority of Rijeka has led the technical organization of the area of mooring of ships and coordination with the ship and the representatives of the ship, while the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka with the support of the Kvarner Tourist Board organized a welcome reception of ships and passengers. The planned activities provided all the logistical support provided by the City of Rijeka. Particularly designed facilities for the organized reception and stay of passengers in Rijeka were also contributed by many local subjects such as the City Music Trsat, the First Rijeka Majuorettes, various Rijeka public services and various cultural institutions.
The tourist season in 2018 began on March 26 with the arrival of AIDA aura with 1,311 passengers and ended on November 1st with the departure of SEABOURN OVATION. In 2018, Rijeka visited a total of 11 vessels with 10,913 passengers and 5,650 crew members. Of the nine different shipping companies, six of them: AIDA, FTI, Seabourn, The World-Residences at Sea, Azamara Club Cruises and Cunard Line have been included for the first time in Rijeka’s travel plans. Nine ships first sailed to Rijeka.
Rijeka as a starting port for smaller vessels on round trips with a capacity of up to 50 passengers (smaller tourist boats and tourist motor sailers) also counts good results. During the tourist season of Rijeka, the tour operators of I.D Riva and Katarina Line organized weekly tours of 12-14 boats, mostly with German tourists. Thus, in 2018, there were record 298 arrivals with 12,188 passengers. The total number of passengers on cruise ships reached 23,100 in 2018, approaching the 2017 results.
The economic effects of cruises are significant in the local and regional context. Cruise tourism is the driving force behind the development of numerous service activities and a source of private and public sector revenues, among which are cruise companies, tour operators, maritime and tourist agencies, potential investors and numerous entities operating in the area of destination and its environment. Optimistic announcements of arrivals for the next year indicate a significant increase in arrivals of foreign vessels on round trips with over 30,000 passengers, and especially happy reservations for 2020, when more than 70,000 passengers are expected in Rijeka – the European Capital of Culture.
Director of Port Authority Rijeka Denis Vukorepa has announced a million investment that will enable the firing of even larger ships at the Rijeka Slipway and Brajdica, while the director of the Rijeka City Council of Petar Škarpa has expected an impressive increase from 23,000 to the estimated 100,000 tourists in 2020 Many boats are coming to Rijeka by boat and many Rijeka companies.
Mayor of Rijeka, Vojko Obersnel, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the serious work of the Port Authority, the City and the local and regional tourist community for the attraction of cruisers has been going on for several years, but the results are already visible. “It is not easy to compete as a new destination among the many Mediterranean ports, and according to estimates, we are close to the optimal and targeted number of tourists, because larger numbers of tourists could create problems,” said Obersnel, adding that Rijeka does not want to become either Split or Dubrovnik, but is focused on the more intense attraction of smaller ships that supply all the goods needed for a trip in Rijeka, who are boarding and discharging their passengers here in Rijeka.
According to Irene Peršić Živadinov, the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Mediterranean destinations record continuous and high rates of tourist growth of this type and are particularly attractive for cruising trips, which is proven by their share of as much as 20% of the world’s total cruising traffic. According to the research, about 14% of cruise passengers return to the destination they have visited, which is presented as a fact that Rijeka can count on in the course of tourism growth, bearing in mind that in 2020, when Rijeka will take over the title of European Capital of Culture, announced the arrival of as many as 70,000 passengers on 40 big cruisers.