Charter sector buoyant 

Following a successful year for the Croatian marine tourism sector in 2018, the level of activity has been maintained into 2019 according to a report in Total Croatia News.

The report points to the country’s marine tourism sector not suffering the same ups and downs as other parts of Croatia’s important tourism industry. Reflecting this was the fact that the number of overnight stays was the highest among any part of the Croatian tourism industry. Both the number of charters undertaken and the number of boats and yachts available increased.

Croatia’s marinas, which number more than 70, have reported similar or increased levels of business in 2019 as compared with 2018.

The report quoted Sean Lisjak, president of the marinas association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, saying: “On the eve of the season, we were cautious because of the announcement of the return of our competitors from Greece and Turkey to the market, but we’re pleased that the peak season is over.”

At the start of September 2019, a total of 353,700 boats in the main in the eight main port zones of Croatia – an increase of 2.17%. Of these 13% were recorded as being new vessels to the market and the number available for charter rose by 7.5% compared with 2018 so increasing to 8,908 vessels from 8,256 last year.

Figures from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport & Infrastructure, shows that in the period up to the end of August, some 3,100 yachts; 126,000 craft for various purposes and 750 cargo and passenger ships were active in Croatian waters. In addition, there were some 60,000 visiting yachts. Around 3,115 yachts were active on the Adriatic coast of which 2,328 were chartered; this is a rise of around 150 yachts on 2018. The Ministry had, by mid-August, 2,850 yacht and boat rental companies register for serving the Croatian market.

Croatia is one of the world’s leading yacht charter regions. The Croatian National Tourist Board also reported increased activity. Through its eCrew boat registration, a 3% rise in arrivals by the start of September was recorded as well as an 8% increase in overnight stays.