Vlahušić: ''Franković's Decision on Cruise Reduction Rejoiced in Zadar and Kotor''

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by Sonja Babić,

The former mayor of Dubrovnik comments on the situation of the declining cruise traffic in the Adriatic.

As we have recently reported, there has been a noticeable decline in the cruise traffic in the Adriatic. The reason for this decline lies in the fact that Venice has decided to limit the cruise traffic, reports Dubrovnik Press on October 10, 2017, by sharing the statement published by the former mayor of Dubrovnik.

“The number of cruise ships in the Adriatic has decreased for six months in a row because Venice decided to limit the number of cruise ship arrivals thus reducing the number of cruise passengers from 1.9 million per year to 1.4 million per year. Venice has reduced the size of the incoming cruise ships to a maximum of 96,000 BRT as well as limited the total number of cruisers,” writes the former mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahušić on his Facebook profile, comparing Dubrovnik and Venice, and criticizing the attitude of the new city administration about the need to reduce the number of cruise arrivals.

Vlahušić further wrote: “Venice didn’t decide to limit the cruise traffic due to the crowds caused by the number of cruise passenger, as they make up only 5% of the total number of tourists (28 million a year), but because of the cruise ships which are passing through the heart of the city, via the Canal Giudecca  and right next to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square. The cruise industry in Venice generates around 5,000 jobs a year and around 250 million euros in annual revenue, of which everyone is well aware: citizens, entrepreneurs, city and state authorities.

On the other hand, in Dubrovnik, there is no issue regarding the access of cruise ships to the city or to Gruž port, however; the transport of cruise passengers from Gruž to Pile via tourist buses seems to cause problems.

All cities and ports in the Adriatic are affected and concerned with the decisions made by Venice seeing that it is the only Home Port destination as well as the port of arrival departure [in the Adriatic] for the largest number of cruise ships. Only the city administration of Dubrovnik wants to reduce the crowd on the roads and in the historical core of the city by employing wrong methods – limiting and banning the arrival of what is already a smaller number of cruisers in Dubrovnik. It is hard to understand the reasons behind these wrong decisions, especially because they have been made without having taken into consideration any expert analysis or having talked with everyone involved in cruise ship business.

What is the future of Port of Dubrovnik, as far as the Terminal in Gruž is concerned, if there are not enough ships or passengers? If Venice with 1.4 million passengers generates a major economic impact on the city, how much are 800,000 passengers actually creating new economic and financial values in Dubrovnik? These are just some of the issues that had to be solved earlier.

But we also know that Mr Franković’s decision will mostly benefit Kotor and Zadar, who are counting on cruise ships which Dubrovnik will reject,” writes the former mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahušić.

Translated from Dubrovnik Press

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