Within Biograd Boat Show On the 4th Nautical Day, a panel was organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, where representatives of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce spoke with representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB) about this year's results, expectations for next season and other current topics and problems in the industry.
President of the Association of Marinas of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Sean Lisjak stated that this season was an expensive school for us, but that despite all the problems, nautics was a tourist leader. "We have been incorrigible optimists from the start, and we are optimistic for next season as well. But just because we’ve been good and achieved solid results doesn’t mean we don’t need help. That is why we are proposing to abolish fixed concessions, and if possible variable ones for next year, so that marinas with these funds can help charters and other tenants and have enough funds to prepare for next season. ", pointed out Lisjak.
Director of the CNTB Kristjan Staničić he pointed out that with the advent of special circumstances due to the global pandemic, travel methods have changed greatly, with nautical tourism proving to be a product that easily enables the follow-up of epidemiological protection measures, primarily measures of social distancing. "This year, Croatia achieved very good results in the nautical charter segment in the summer part of the year, given the circumstances, ie during July and August, 70 percent of last year's result was achieved in the same period. With this, Croatia has proved that it is one of the best nautical destinations in the Mediterranean, and nautical is an extremely important part of the overall Croatian tourist offer.", Said director Staničić, adding that nautical is the focus of the current autumn promotional campaign conducted by the CNTB in seven European markets with the aim of maintaining visibility and positioning Croatia as a safe, diverse and quality tourist destination.
Nina Perko, director of the Maritime Administration in the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, emphasized that in cooperation with the Nautical Associations of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, strict protocols for marinas, charters and shipping companies were made in April, which gave the whole sector a boost for the season. "The ministry is looking for new ways to help sailors, and certain programs for guarantees and loans through Hamag Bicro have already been dropped, and they are coming from a new one from the European Fund for Recovery and Resilience.", She announced.
President of the Association of Accommodation Providers on Boats - HGK charter Paško Klisović said the pandemic has given us a chance to understand how much all ancillary services in destinations depend on boaters. "Nautics will continue to be the safest form of tourism and that is why we need the support of all institutions to look forward to next year as strongly as possible. Harmonization of travel ban criteria at European level will certainly help", Said Klisović.
President of the River Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Božana Matoš said that they sent a request through the Croatian Chamber of Commerce to change the decision to ban consent for more than 40 passengers, and the Headquarters met their needs, so they managed to achieve some kind of traffic. "We had about 1200 passengers. Compared to last year, we are recording a big loss because river cruises experienced a great expansion then. We have fallen by almost 90 percent and I hope most of us have managed to survive with the help of these measures. A really big return of river cruises is expected next year, we already have over 600 announced berths and I hope that we will have the support of the institutions to make that happen.", Stressed Matos.
President of the Association of Tourist Shipping Companies of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Ante Rakuljić explained that their arrangements are booked a couple of years in advance, and guests come from overseas markets such as Australia, the US and South Africa, so their biggest boats this season have remained tied. "We welcome the measures taken by the Government in this segment to help us retain employees and banks that have postponed loans, however, we are very concerned because there is already talk of problems for next year", Said Rakuljić, adding that tourist shipowners want to be more involved in the promotion within the CNTB.
The owner of the Maritime Agency Simmor, which deals with mega yachts, Andrija Simic, pointed out that due to the good cooperation between the Ministries and entrepreneurs in megayachting, an incredibly good season is behind them. "We presented Croatia to the richest people in the world in the best light. This year we had the largest commercial yacht in the world that paid 2,5 million kuna VAT for its stay and this information should reassure everyone who thinks that we do not benefit from such guests. If the yacht is worth 100 million euros, it has an annual budget of 10 million for maintenance. That is why our goal must be to keep them with us all year round, not only in summer, because a lot more is spent on maintenance than on the tours themselves.", Explained Simic, noting that we must work on improving the infrastructure and that he is optimistic about next season and believes that based on this year's experience we will be much smarter and more successful.
Photo: Biograd Boat Show