|The development of nautical tourism is imperative for Croatia|
|Author: CSEBA / SEEbiz|
|10th May 2023|
|ZAGREB - Every year, thousands of yachts and boats sail the Adriatic Sea and enjoy the magical bays from spring to late autumn.|
Nautical tourism is developing rapidly thanks to our extremely attractive and indented coast with more than a thousand islands, good conditions for sailing during a large part of the year, excellent tourist infrastructure and a long tradition of nautical tourism, according to the Analysis of Tourist Traffic by the Croatian Tourist Board. When you add to that an attractive historical and cultural heritage and a rich gastronomic offer, it is not surprising that yachtsmen see Croatia as an unmissable destination every year.
During the last decade, nautical tourism in Croatia stood out as globally relevant and positioned us as one of the top European and world destinations for sailors, HTZ points out. Croatia currently occupies as much as 40 percent of the total world charter market and has one of the largest charter fleets in the world with 4,500 vessels. About 70 percent of this is in the Split water area, and we have over 70 marinas and a total of 17,000 moorings.
Last year, more than 3.6 million nights were spent in nautical charter, which is 1 percent more than in 2021, but also 2 percent more than the record year of 2019, reports HTZ. The excellent results are not surprising when you consider that Croatia can boast of one of the most advanced maritime infrastructures in the whole world, and the nautical season can be enjoyed almost all year round.
The potential of this market was also recognized by Master Yachting, which celebrates its 45th anniversary and stands out as one of the most successful players in the European yacht trade. As we learned from director Franz Schillinger, Croatia is increasingly becoming a hit destination.
- The luxury clientele is fed up with the Cote d'Azur and Spain and is increasingly gravitating towards the natural beauty of Croatia, which in the last ten years has made a lot of progress in the gastronomic segment with top restaurants and prestigious Michelin stars.
There are also luxury resorts and summer festivals with performances by renowned DJs, where Ultra and Zrće compete with popular destinations such as Ibiza, Saint-Tropez and Mykonos, while maintaining the authenticity and beauty of countless islands - says Schillinger.
Last year was a record year for nautical tourism, which is extremely important for Croatia from the perspective that sailors spend more than average tourists, as much as 200 euros per day. A survey conducted last year by the Tomas Nautika Tourism Institute, commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, revealed that the share of boaters on vacation in Croatia with monthly household incomes above 3,500 euros increased from 57 percent in 2017 to as much as 78 percent last year.
Croatian nautical began to develop more seriously in the 80s, while a sudden boom followed after 2000 with the development of internet reservations and online bookings. Besides the fact that we are world champions in terms of infrastructure, we have an additional advantage of 1,200 islands, 6,000 km of coastline and proximity to the European market. Road connections and natural resources also play an important role, and the special charm of our beautiful, indented coast with islands that are close to each other.
Schillinger also referred to the development of the charter industry and pointed out that over the last 20 years, this industry has recorded systematic growth from year to year, which also enabled Master Yachting to grow and cooperate with some of the world's most prestigious yacht brands.
- Master Yachting is a distributor and representative of several brands, including one of the largest shipyards in the world, the French Beneteau Group, which, in addition to Beneteau sailboats and motor yachts, also includes Lagoon, the world leader in the catamaran market. Sales grew year after year - from 2015 to 2018, the company was unrivaled in sales in Europe, in 2019 it was even the best in the world. In order to crown our business, a few years ago we added Sanlorenzo Yachts to our range, a leading brand in the production of luxury yachts over 24 meters long, made to order in the Italian province of La Spezia under the supervision of one of the world's best architects, Piero Lissoni - emphasizes Schillinger.
Master Yachting is a shipyard representative for Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and several other markets. As we learned from Schillinger, more and more buyers are choosing Croatia, but they have high demands for luxury accommodation on yachts.
All these facts confirm that in Croatia there is a great potential for the development of a high level of nautical tourism, therefore it is necessary to continue working on the additional improvement of this important tourist branch, which will undoubtedly become crucial for Croatian tourism.
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