Seaports Infrastructure in Poland for Handling Cruise Ships
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In accordance with the report from 2013 of the Cruise Lines International Association Europe “the Baltic Sea is the largest segment in the Northern Europe market, generating capacity of around 4.85 million passenger nights in 2012 and around 5.14 million in 2013”1. In the Baltic Sea region, carriage of passengers on cruise ships take 10,2% share of the EU market.2 For several years, it has begun to detect the role and importance of cruise ship tourism in the Baltic Sea Region, what is seen in a number of initiatives for international cooperation within the framework of the projects of the European Union, such as i.e.: Seaside Project or Enjoy South Baltic, and associations as: Baltic Sea Tourism Commission or Cruise Baltic Northern Europe. The European Commission also supports the activities for development of cruise ship industry, for example thanks to organization of annual celebrity of the European Maritime Day dedicated to maritime and coastal tourism development, or even for creation of the program entitled European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. However, in Poland, it has been registered a noticeable decline in the number of cruise ships calling at Polish seaports for several years3. There are lots of reasons of this phenomenon, but the lack of the infrastructure of dedicated terminals to handle cruise ships is one of the most essential. Moreover, a range of services delivered at these ports have also a huge influence upon the development of the cruise ship tourism market. The objective of this article is to evaluate the state of infrastructure of the seaports in Poland to handle of cruise ships and also presentation of investment objectives planned by seaports authorities. A little space was also dedicated to present the tourist offers prepared for cruise passengers visiting Polish seaports. The article also shows the results of surveys made in: Port of Gdansk Authority, Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority and also Port of Gdynia Authority. In addition, the ongoing and planned investments, having an impact on raising attractiveness and competitiveness of the seaports in Poland on the cruise ship tourist market of the Baltic Sea, have also been analyzed.
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