Tourism stands out as one of the most influential and successful branches of economy in Croatia and its impact is mostly attributed to seaside tourism. Consistently, it is not a surprise that yacht chartering represents an important element in the coastal touristic offer.
Development of Yacht Charter in Croatia
Observed individually, yacht renting industry in Croatia experienced a notable growth since the year 2003 (in accordance with the data found on yacht-rent.com). This growth is visible through the significant increase of the number of vessels in the Croatian yacht charter offer and it is contributed to a large number of factors both within and outside of the service sector. Here, we will go through some of the most plausible reasons for such boost in this line of tourism.
The growth and increase of the number of boats in Croatia over the years
First and the most obvious reason would be the growing worldwide interest in the nature and holiday hotspots of the Croatian coast. In recent years Croatia stopped being just a European touristic micro location and started popping up as a requested location for varied groups of tourists around the world. Known for its untouched nature, rich historic and cultural heritage, tempting Mediterranean cuisine and affordable prices, Croatia found itself in the midst of the constantly developing global touristic offer. In that midst, yacht chartering in Croatia additionally offers more freedom to explore the coastline and privacy for the more illusive clientele. It is not a secret that the idea of sailing the Adriatic already drew a fair number of celebrities to Croatia.
Another important role in the development of yacht charter in the Adriatic is likely attributed to the improved capabilities for financing the vessels through leasing and affordable credit options. This in turn also creates better opportunities for utilizing the profit reinvestment plan. To clarify, many businesses opt to reinvest their gain into vessels which are then included in the Croatian yacht rent offer. Most often it is the yacht chartering companies that decide to reinvest their profit into new boats to expand their offer, but this is not always the case. If they find the situation advantageous to their needs, other businesses also promptly choose to exercise this option.
Thanks to these and possible other reasons, Croatian coast is known for a versatile and quality yacht charter offer. This offer includes four main types of vessels: sailboats, motorboats, catamaran and gulet boats. In the year 2003, according to the collected data, there were 1212 vessels in the yacht charter offer. Since then the Croatian charter fleet grew proportionately. Only exceptions to this were the years 2008 and 2009 that mark a slight decrease and stagnation due to the global economic crisis.
Today, the charter fleet counts 3013 vessels. At the moment, most of the vessels in the fleet fall under the sailing boat category. The next by number of vessels are the motorboats followed by catamaran and finally, least represented gulet boats. The most stable increase is detected in the number of sailing boats and catamaran whereas motorboats and gulet boat type display some periods of stagnation and slight decrease. It is safe to say that the present year, 2014, stands out as the year with the greatest number of all types of vessels until now.
The Future of Yacht Charter in Croatia
In order to maintain or even improve the rich offer of vessels in the Adriatic it is necessary to take care of the following issues. One of the most important, if not the most important advantage that makes Croatia a touristic hotspot is its untouched and undisturbed nature. However, recently these natural riches are threatened from several directions. In order to define itself as a true natural touristic haven and present itself as a responsible and ecologically conscientious country, Croatia should promptly secure its biological diversity by drawing firm lines when it comes to any activities that affect and can potentially harm that diversity.
Other points that play an important role in the further development of the yacht charter in Croatia are the state’s legal and administrative elements. In some cases not adequately defined or justifiable, related laws are prone to overly frequent changes. This creates difficulties for the economical development of the tourism sector and should be dealt with in a manner where legal and administrative elements form a stable and secure basis for further investments in this field.
On the plus side, besides peaking in the quantity of vessels, the year 2014 also brings numerous improvements regarding naval tourism in Croatia. It is recognized that quality is the ultimate goal and as a result much has been invested in improving the offer of marinas on the Adriatic coast.
Besides marinas, the quality of vessels for rent is also getting specific attention. It is important to note that quantity of boats should not be the ultimate goal that overrides the quality of the offer, it is important for yacht charter businesses to establish and maintain the balance between the two. In addition to the well-developed destination management we can also notice an obvious improvement in the transport infrastructure, for example the construction of new highways, investment in the improvement of existing airports, a more versatile offer at airports etc.
Having taken this into consideration we are interested what you see in store for the Croatian charter fleet in the following years?