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Italy projects 13.8m cruise passengers this year 

A Costa Cruises vessel in Liguria reads 'Are you ready?' during February's Sanremo Music Festival
Italy is forecast to receive 13.8m passengers this year across 5,200 cruise calls. 

These figures represent an increase of 0.1% and 6% in the number of passengers and calls, respectively, compared to 2023. 

The estimates – reexamined since last year's predictions – are based on the 15 cruise ports in Italy with the highest passenger numbers. Their figures alone amount to 12.9m passengers, equal to 93% of the total overall. 

In 2023, Italy registered a 48% growth compared to 2022 in terms of passengers while calls increased by just 0.3%; Italian cruise ports welcomed 13.79m passengers and 4,900 calls last year, while over 2m passengers started their voyage in Italy.

Tensions in Middle East

President of the Risposte Turismo tourism research company, Francesco di Cesare, said ‘There is no doubt that Italy is destined to remain among the leading countries in cruise tourism. The challenge will be how the cruise ports want, and will be able to manage, a phenomenon that is destined to grow and change.’

He said these numbers are the result of ‘the repositioning of ships after the crisis in the Middle East’: 'The overall picture is the result of a diversified scenario, with some ports that are about to register a new record in traffic volumes and others that will welcome fewer passengers than those hosted in 2023.’ 

Speaking at CLIA Cruise Week in Genoa, Italy last week, di Cesare added that the anticipated increase in cruise traffic ‘has to be seen as an opportunity to consolidate one's position and reflect on whether, how, and under what conditions to aim to grow in the coming seasons.’ He said growth should not always represent the objective, ‘For it to be so, there must be the right conditions. Among them, the ability to accommodate more passengers [and] adequate mobility infrastructures so as not to create difficulties for the movement dynamics of those who live and work in those destinations…’

Palermo, Naples, Civitavecchia take the lead 

Civitavecchia is forecast to receive 3.3m passengers (+0.5%) followed by Naples with 1.7m passengers (+3%) and Genoa with 1.5m (-11.7% compared to last year when it recorded its highest numbers since 2019.) 

Palermo ranks fourth place, expected to surpass the 1m passenger mark in 2024 (+6.4%.)

Leghorn is expected to register 800,000 passengers this year – an increase of +25.4%. 

Savona follows with 700,000 passengers (-18.8%), and La Spezia and Messina with 650,000 passengers each (-8.5% and +23.6%, respectively.) 

These are followed by Cagliari with 525,000 passengers (+40.3%) and Venice with 520,000 passengers (+3%.)

Trieste is forecast to register 475,000 (-0.4%) while Bari will rack up 473,000 (+12.1%). 

Ravenna is expected to record around 230,000 passengers (-30.5%) followed by Catania and Taranto respectively with 190,000 (-19.6%) and 130,918 (+5.5%) passengers.

16 ports are expected to welcome more than 100,000 passengers in 2024, with Brindisi touching on this figure. 

TAGS: Italy