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The Tarragona Institutional Cruise Committee meets to take stock of the 2022 season


The data show that cruise passengers who arrive at Port Tarragona stay in the territory

During the 2022 season there has been little demographic massification and a contribution to tourism deseasonalisation

The economic impact for the territory has exceeded 5 million euros

On December 1st, in the Roger de Llúria room of the Port of Tarragona institutional headquarters, the institutional and business representatives who make up the Institutional Cruise Committee met to analyse the 2022 season.

The meeting of the Committee, which is made up of the main institutions and companies linked to tourism in the territory, was attended by Saül Garreta, president of the Tarragona Port Authority; Marta Farrero, director of the Costa Daurada Tourism Board; Pau Ricomà, Mayor of Tarragona; Dídac Nadal, Tarragona Councillor for Trade, Fairs, Markets and Consumption; Anna M. Martínez, Generalitat of Catalunya Deputy General Director of Tourism Planning and Inspection; Laura Roigé, president of the Tarragona Chamber of Commerce; Daniel Martín, managing director of the Tarragona Chamber of Commerce; Óscar Saladié, dean of the URV Faculty of Tourism and Geography; Cristina Cid, Vila-seca Town Councillor for Innovation and Tourism; Montse Caelles, Reus Town Councillor for Municipal Projection; Marta Vilalta, Manager of the Reus Promotion Agency; Francesc Pintado, president of the AEHT; Xavier Jornet, member of the AEHT board; Juan José Crespo, director of Reus Airport; and Berta Cabré, president of the FEHT.

Also attending on behalf of the Port of Tarragona were Genoveva Climent, Director of Marketing and Business Development; Marta Virgili, Head of Institutional Relations and Presidency; Xavier Fähndrich, Director of Communication and Image; and Tana Corral, Marketing Business Manager.

The representatives of the Institutional Committee met to analyse the figures for the 2022 cruise season that began last April. Port Tarragona’s forecasts at the beginning of the season were for around 38 stopovers and between 55,000 and 60,000 passengers. The final figures for 2022 were 35 calls and 64,470 cruise passengers.

A very positive impact for the territory

During the 2022 season, the economic impact of cruise passengers on the territory rose to 5,008,335 euros. These arrivals contributed to the deseasonalisation of the tourist season, thanks to the higher concentration of stopovers in the months before and after July and August. Of the total of 35 stopovers, 11 were before the peak summer months, between March and June, and 20 were after, from September to November.

Delegates attending the meeting were also able to see the first data from the satisfaction survey carried out by Eurecat-Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya (URV). This survey indicates an increase in passengers choosing to visit the territory by purchasing an excursion or making their own arrangements: 96% this year, compared to 93% in 2019. The vast majority of cruise passengers in transit chose to visit the city and local region independently, with the next highest number taking guided tours.

The general evaluation of passengers who visited the Tarragona-Costa Daurada destination was a score of 8.9 out of 10 (the same result as in 2019). The data corroborate the fulfilment of our visitors’ expectations, with 52% acknowledging that the destination met their expectations, while 41.5% stated that it exceeded them. In total, 93.1% of cruise passengers said they would recommend Tarragona as a destination.

Forecast for 2023

Today’s meeting was also used to consider and analyse the forecasts for the 2023 season. Continuing with the line of sustained growth agreed with the territory, 50 stopovers and 95,000 passengers are expected for the coming season.

According to the analysis by the president of the Port of Tarragona, Saül Garreta “it can be considered a symptom of the sector’s recovery that we are approaching pre-pandemic levels and that Tarragona’s cruise model is sustainable compared to those of Barcelona or Venice in terms of demographic and environmental impact”.

This is a progressive growth, still far from the figures obtained in 2019, when Port Tarragona’s record for cruise liners was broken with some 130,000 passengers.

Cruises with consensus and sustainable development

Cruise liner activity in Tarragona is a project with its own personality and organisation. The model is different to others in the Mediterranean, as it has been developed consensually with the institutional, administrative and business representatives of the Camp de Tarragona and Costa Daurada region. The Institutional Cruise Committee is the collaborative body in which institutions, administrations, businesses and universities cooperate to develop a sustainable cruise model. It is a project that has been designed from the outset to diversify tours and visits made by visiting passengers across the whole territory. The objective of this is to avoid concentrations of visitors in a single destination or town and the effects of overcrowding that occur in other cruise destinations. In this way, from the moment the tourist destination is marketed and the excursion programme is offered, cruise operators provide a wide choice of destinations that covers the whole of the Camp de Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre region. These include the Conca de Barberà, Priorat, Terres de l’Ebre regions and the towns of Tarragona, Reus and Vila-seca.