Cruise industry: Adriatic up, 3.3 mn passengers in 2022 – Tourism

NAPLES – The cruise industry is back in the wake of the Covid pandemic, with 3.3 million passengers reported in 2022 across the Adriatic, including the coasts of Italy and the coasts of Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Albania, Slovenia and Montenegro. These are key questions in the analysis of the “Adriatic Sea Forum – Cruise, Ferry, Sail & Yacht” to be held in Bari from 6th to 7th October.

The two-day event, organized by “Risposte turismo” (Tourist Responses), will be opened by the Governor of Puglia, Michele Emiliano, and the Mayor of Bari, Antonio Decaro. It will be dedicated to meetings between port operators, cruise industry representatives and tour operators to create programs. At the forefront are the figures of the rebirth of the cruise sector, as well as around 18 million passengers on ferries and hydrofoils in the Adriatic (up 26% compared to 2021), with Bari being the first destination in the Adriatic for international routes.

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Launched in 2013 and now in its fifth year, the forum will see the participation of cruise, ferry and shipping industry operators from seven countries overlooking the Adriatic Sea, which will have a strong reputation thanks to the presence of over 150 tourist destinations in 25 countries according to maritime tourism have regions.

“The new edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – explained Francesco di Cesare, President of Risposte Turismo – comes at a significant moment for the sector where, more than in the past, the challenge is to attract tourists. During the two days we will Operators and government agency representatives will raise a range of issues to understand the development paths and we will listen to the intentions, projects, programs and questions to achieve new and more ambitious results”.

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In anticipation of the forecasts for 2023, “Risposte Turismo” has anticipated forecasts for the end of 2022 with a cruise traffic that will reach 3.3 million tourists at the end of the year on the Adriatic Sea, an increase of 232% compared to 2021 thanks to the 2,936 cruise stops ships (+195% compared to 2021). The doubling of cruise traffic compared to 2021 is encouraging, but remains just over half of what was recorded in 2019, before the pandemic began, when 5.7 million passengers were en route. On the podium of the 2022 ranking is Corfù, with more than half a million expected passengers and 411 ship berths, ahead of Kotor (400,000 moving passengers and 440 ship arrivals) and Trieste (380,000 moving passengers and 230 berths). At the national level, Italy is expected to take first place in the number of passengers carried by the end of the year (1.36 million or 40% of the total), ahead of Croatia (900,000 passengers) and Greece (560,000 passengers). Croatia, on the other hand, will have the most ship berths (995) at the end of 2022, ahead of Italy (927) and Montenegro (453). Regarding the segment of ferries and hydrofoils, the figures of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report showed at the end of 2022 in Adriatic ports almost 18 million passengers (+26% compared to 2021 and the result almost 20 million – record numbers – recorded in 2019). Bari is expected to be confirmed at the end of 2022 as the first port on the Adriatic for passengers on international routes (nearly 800,000), ahead of Durazzo and Ancona, which compete for second place with around 690,000 passengers. Ferries operate 100% of international routes in all three ports.

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