Barcelona, Spain (PortSEurope) October 19, 2017 – Although for a small margin, for the first time in its history the ports of the Balearic Islands have surpassed Barcelona in the volume of passengers handled in August. Balearic ports handled 348,114 passengers in August, whereas Barcelona serviced 331,755.
Therefore, the Balearic islands received 16,359 more cruise passengers. The port of Barcelona had a 6.8% drop in passenger traffic in August, and in July the fall was worse, 11.5%. However, despite these setbacks, Barcelona keeps its leadership in the segment for the first eight months of 2017, with 1,692,695 visitors, 2.45% less than the first eight months of 2016.
The decline is evidence of the consolidation of the Balearic Islands as a cruise destination for the summer, as the number of passengers handled in the January-August period is 50% more than those arriving in the Canaries, three times more than Andalusia, and six times more than Valencia.
The decline in Barcelona is partly due to the strategy of the city’s tourism authorities, which on several occasions said that the Catalan capital was to seasonalise the cruise activities. In addition, the administration of Ada Colau has refused the construction of a terminal by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which was to start operating in 2021. The terrorist attacks in August were not a destabilising factor for the cruise traffic.
A few days after the referendum on October 1, TUI Cruises decided to divert three cruise ships to the port of Valencia. Although this move cost less than 5% of the arrivals, it is feared that the exacerbation of the conflict will increase the negative trend of the port of Barcelona. Representatives of the Association of Cruise Lines (CLIA) said that the cruise industry “is sensitive to changes and always seeks stability, so shipping companies are aware of events to act as they see fit.”
Source: El Mundo
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