The beautiful Hall of Mirrors in the building of the Municipality of Taranto is the perfect setting for today's press conference dedicated to the local cruise sector.
Among the speakers Gianfranco Lopane, Council for Tourism, Development and Tourism Business of the Puglia Region; Rinaldo Melucci, Mayor of Taranto; Sergio Prete, President of the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea; Francesco Di Cesare, President of Risposte Turismo; Raffaella Del Prete, General Manager of Taranto Cruise Port. Also present Fabrizio Manzulli, Deputy Mayor and Council for Economic Development of the Municipality of Taranto, who inaugurated the conference by opening its works.
Taranto Cruise Port has closed the 2022 cruise season with very positive results: 54 calls (26 more than in 2021) for a total of almost 110.0000 passengers (over 28.500 more than the previous year), which translates in 93% growth in calls and 35% in number of cruise passengers, with MSC Cruises being the biggest customer in 2022.
In 2022 Taranto Cruise Port also welcomed 9 cruise ships for their maiden calls which testifies to the growing appeal of the destination for Cruise Lines, while the nationality breakdown of passengers reveals a great interest from the Italians and the French (73% of the total), followed by the Germans (15%) and the Anglo-American (12%).
The upcoming 2023 season will be inaugurated on May 9th, with the arrival of Celebrity Constellation cruise ship, followed with 40 calls from 7 different cruise lines, 5 of which will be maiden calls and over 110.000 passengers, confirming the stable trend of growth of Taranto within the cruise industry.
Taranto Cruise Port’s main customer this season will be Costa Crociere, the Italian brand of the Carnival group, which will carry out turnaround operations in its 19 calls of Costa Pacifica between June and October, also thanks to the new terminal structure on the west quay of the San Cataldo Pier, currently underway of expansion.
As the recipient of the "Destination of the Year" at the Seatrade Cruise Awards in 2022, Taranto has been officially recognized by the entire sector. In 2023 Taranto will host the Italian Cruise Day organized by Risposte Turismo in October thanks to the joint efforts of the Municipality of Taranto, the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea, Taranto Cruise Port and the entire local cluster.
“We are pleased with the results of 2022 and ready to welcome the opportunities that 2023 holds for us, including the turnaround operations for the Costa Crociere, which is a new guest to Taranto Cruise Port. We are confident that thanks to the know-how of Global Ports Holding, of which Taranto Cruise Port is a branch, and the collaboration with the Municipality and the Port Authority, 2023 will mark another successful season” said Raffaella Del Prete, General Manager of Taranto Cruise Port. She continued: “The image of Taranto in the cruise panorama grows and strengthens and being chosen as the venue for the Italian Cruise Day 2023 is proof. This is an important opportunity to show the renowned beauties of the destination to the travel industry, together with the wide range of services and the operational capabilities with which we are equipped”.
“The role of Taranto within the cruise industry has been growing, thanks to the numerous calls of 2023 and to the opportunities offered by the Italian Cruise Day, when it comes to territorial marketing. Today, indeed, we announce this perspective that sees the Municipality alongside the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea and next to the operators who believe in this challenge, which aims to change the future of a city that finally cultivates its tourist vocation. We also confirm our centrality in the Mediterranean Sea, along the development horizon represented by the 2026 Games. As happened in the past, we will offer our skills and services to make the experience of cruise passengers unforgettable” said Rinaldo Melucci, Mayor of Taranto.