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Adriatic Cruise Tourism 2022: Corfu Port in First Place for Passenger Traffic

The Adriatic is expected to welcome some 3.3 million cruise passengers (embarking, disembarking and transiting) by the end of the year on 2,936 cruise ship calls, up 195 percent compared to 2021, according to the latest Adriatic Sea Tourism Report.

Published by tourism research and consultancy company, Risposte Turismo, the report sees cruise traffic in the Adriatic up by 232 percent this year against 2021.

The data was released in advance of the 5th Adriatic Sea Forum, an international event, devised by Risposte Turismo and dedicated to maritime tourism in the Adriatic, which will be held October 6-7 in Bari, Italy.

According to the report, while 2022 is expected to close with a doubling of cruise traffic compared to the previous year, the result is little more than half of that for 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic (5.7 million passengers handled).

Corfu Port in the lead

Looking at individual ports, the podium of the 2022 ranking sees the Greek island of Corfu in first place with more than half a million passengers expected and 411 cruise calls, ahead of Kotor (400,000 passengers handled and 440 calls) and Trieste (380,000 passengers handled and 230 calls).

With regard to cruise traffic per country, Risposte Turismo’s forecast for the year-end sees Italy confirmed in first place in terms of numbers of passengers handled (1.36 million, or 40 percent of the total), ahead of Croatia with 900,000 passengers and Greece (Corfu) with 560,000 passengers.

Croatia, on the other hand, will notch up the highest number of calls at the end of 2022 (995), ahead of Italy (927) and Montenegro (453).

Ferry sector

As for the ferries and hydrofoils segment, the first numbers of Adriatic Sea Tourism Report show, at the end of 2022, almost 18 million passengers handled in Adriatic ports (+26 percent vs 2021 and a result close to 20 million – record-breaking numbers – noted in 2019).

At the close of 2022, Bari will figure as the top port in the Adriatic in terms of passengers handled on international routes (almost 800,000), ahead of Durres and Ancona, which will compete for second place with about 690,000 passengers handled. It should be noted that for all three ports, ferry handling is 100 percent international.

Boating sector

Turning to the nautical sector, according to the data compiled by Risposte Turismo, in 2022, on the Adriatic 337 structures are active for almost 80,000 moorings (79,171). Italy maintains its leadership positioning in nautical tourism thanks to 189 active facilities (56% of the marinas in the area, for a total of 49,000 moorings, and 62 percent of the total), ahead of Croatia (126 facilities for almost 21,000 moorings) and Montenegro (8 facilities for 3,545 moorings).

Despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic period, nautical tourism in the Adriatic displays overall growth in numbers of marinas, tourist ports and moorings in the four-year period 2019–2022. In this period, indeed, 8 new nautical facilities were opened (three in Croatia, two in Italy and Montenegro, and one in Greece), for a total of 4,000 new moorings.

Details on closing projections for 2022 and the forecasts for 2023 will be announced by Risposte Turismo’s president, Francesco di Cesare, on the opening day of the fifth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – Cruise, Ferry, Sail & Yacht on October 6.

Risposte Turismo has been publishing the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report, which analyses the flows, size, nature and directions of tourism movements by sea in the Adriatic, since 2013.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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