Country watching to see if higher prices and fees are sending yachters to new locations

With its ‘nautical tourism season’ underway, Croatia is watching to see if higher prices and fees are sending yachters to new locations like Greece and Turkey.

Such was the subject of a recent television discussion between Robert Pende, an assistant in the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, Roko Vuletić, the president of HUP’s nautical sector and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce’s Sean Lisjak, according to Total Croatia News and Morski.

According to Pende, maintaining the same number of yacht visits achieved last year would bode well for Croatia, but the early data isn’t very promising, according to Vuletic.

“We’re the leaders in the world in one segment of nautical tourism, and that’s renting a boat without a crew. We’re receiving information from our colleagues who have charter agencies that some existing reservations have been canceled due to Croatia’s price increases, which has been a big trend in recent years, although charter agencies raised their prices the least, given the growth of offers and competition,’’ said Vuletić.

Vuletic said the market is changing with fewer “classic nautical guests,” adding tourists increasingly seek package deals. “They’re wanting to have a whole package, from airline transfers, accommodation, gastronomic offers, and all of that has increased in price, including in marinas,” he said, adding “’In combination with the announced recession, people are becoming more cautious about what they’re spending, they want to go to new destinations, and Greece and Turkey are growing rapidly.”

Lisjak said he was not afraid about people cancelling their reservations, pointing out that Croatia’s nautical tourism sector is vigorous and has been sustained for the last fifteen years. He added that Croatia needs to be careful because new markets are opening their doors that have in the past been avoided for security and various other reasons.