Investments of more than €416mn are expected in marine tourism infrastructure in the Adriatic between 2023-2025, according to Risposte Turismo, an Italian research and consulting company focussed on tourism.
While some of the largest investments are in Italy, at port cities such as Venice and Ravenna, there are also major new investments going ahead in marinas at Vlora in Albania and Rijeka in Croatia, as infrastructure is developed along the eastern Adriatic coast.
Croatia plans three marine infrastructure projects along its Adriatic Sea coast, according to the report.
The Baros Marina port in Rijeka will see 230 berths added by 2024, as a result of a €50mn investment by ACI-Gitone, a joint venture between Croatian ACI Marinas and German Lürssen shipyard.
Other developments include expanding existing structures at the Croatian Marina Polesana, which will gain 138 new berths with a total investment of €20mn, and the Marina Korkyra, which will add 39 new berths with a total investment of €1.5mn. A maritime station in Split, with an investment value of €8.5mn, is set to be completed by 2024.
The plans also include the Vlora Marina in Albania, featuring 483 berths, with the superyacht segment to be available from 2025, following a total investment of €45mn.
The cruise and ferry industries are expected to benefit the most from these new investments, with approximately €210mn set aside for these sectors.
The report also predicts a 29.3% increase in the number of passengers to 4.5mn in the 32 cruise ports of the Adriatic in 2023, with 3,000 ship calls anticipated. Demand for services for tourists in the marinas of the Adriatic area is growing, with German tourists arriving in the largest numbers.
“The numbers we are sharing … indicate an across-the-board recovery in maritime tourism in the Adriatic, a segment that will soon – by 2024, if not already in 2023 – be witnessing a return to the figures recorded before the pandemic,” said Risposte Turismo’s president Francesco di Cesare.
The report forecasts Italy to maintain its position as the leader in cruise traffic, handling just over 2mn passengers (a 35% increase), which represents 46.2% of the total. Croatia is expected to come in second with around 1.1mn passengers (a 33.1% increase), followed by Greece with 624,000 passengers handled (a 17.2% increase).
Positive forecasts are also expected for other countries bordering the Adriatic, including Montenegro, which is expected to handle 479,000 passengers (a 10.4% increase), Slovenia with 119,000 passengers (a 59.3% increase), and Albania with 25,000 passengers (a 53.9% increase).
As for ship calls, Croatia is expected to maintain its position as the country with the most ship calls (1,140) among countries bordering the Adriatic at the end of 2023. Italy is expected to come in second with 863 ship calls, followed by Montenegro with 474 ship calls.