Genoa port with cruise ships

6 million cruise passengers forecast for Italy in 2022

News Travel & Tourism

Ports in Italy expect a 100% increase in passenger movements in 2022 compared to this year. Forecasts by Risposte Turismo suggest 42 Italian ports will collectively welcome 5.98m cruise passengers on 2,928 ship visits next year.

As reported in Seatrade Cruise News, the numbers represent a 118% and 102% increment respectively in passengers and calls compared to this year.

“At the end of 2021, Italian ports will handle 2.77m passengers, compared to 645,000 passengers in 2020,’ said Francesco di Cesare, president of Risposte Turismo. Ship calls will increase to 1,447 compared to 1,079 in 2020.

Back to same levels as 2006

Di Cesare said if the predictions are correct, cruise traffic will return to 2006y levels. That is after a drop in 2020 to 1993 levels, and  a return to 2001 results expected this year.

“On the one hand these numbers testify to the ability of cruising to relaunch. On the other hand, they cannot hide the extent of the drop in value, still far from the historical record of 2019.

“It will take some time before the dynamics and, with them, the numbers, return to the pre-pandemic levels,’ he warned.

Loss of €1.7billion in Italian ports

The Risposte Turismo president estimated €1.7bn in passenger spending has been lost in Italian ports during the pandemic. That is without counting other connected losses to the national tourism income.

Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia underlined the €2.4bn Recovery Plan, which has had ‘positive effects, therefore, also for the cruise sector.’

Estimates for 2022

The forecasts for next year show Civitavecchia topping the rankings as the country’s leading cruise port with almost 1.5m passengers expected. Naples is also expected to exceed 1m passengers followed by Genoa and La Spezia with about 750,000 cruise passengers each, said di Cesare.

In total, estimates show thirteen ports receiving over 100,000 passengers next year. 

Liguria is expected to be the leading cruise destination in Italy with Genoa, Savona, La Spezia and other smaller ports collectively welcoming over 2m passengers, a result close to pre-pandemic levels.

2021 end of year forecast

The forecast for this year end sees Civitavecchia leading with 550,000 passengers followed by Genoa with 460,000 and Palermo with around 300,000.

Bari’s forecast is 230,000 passengers, with  and Naples and Savona with respectively, about 200,000 and 180,000 passengers. Trieste follows with about 140,000 passengers. Monfalcone and Taranto come in with 100,000 and almost 90,000 passengers respectively.

Noticeable by its absence in the top 10 ports is Venice. The final figures expect to show just over 18,000 passengers with 24 calls. Once among Italy’s busiest cruise ports, the uncertainty around the temporary berthing in Marghera casts a shadow over forecasts.  

Read: Italy bans cruise ships from centre of Venice

Cruise Development Investment

In the next three years, investment plans show over €821m earmarked for Italian ports. That sum includes €258m in infrastructure, €231m for dredging and €210m for terminals. Investments attributable to environmental issues exceed €107m.

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