Porto Palermo fourth in Italy and tenth in the Mediterranean basin for number of cruise passengers

In 2024 it will exceed one million, Monti (Adsp) ‘Result resulting from investments and strategic vision’

The port of Palermo will end 2023 in fourth place in Italy in terms of number of cruise passengers, best season ever. This was revealed in the new edition ofItalian Cruise Watchthe reference report for cruise tourism, presented at the Aragonese Castle of Taranto, during the eleventh edition of the Italian Cruise daythe forum on Italian cruise tourism, conceived and organized by Rispetti Turismo, a research and consultancy company serving the tourism industry, founded and led by Francis of Caesar. Furthermore, in an Italy that is once again breaking records on the cruise front, definitively leaving behind the dark period of the pandemic and closing 2023 with the record of almost 13 million passengers who chose a cruise in the ports of the Peninsula, at regionally, Sicily confirms itself on the third step of the podium with 1.8 million (+50% on 2022) of cruise passengers overall, after Liguria (over three million) and Lazio (2.9 million), while in terms of number of ship calls it shares first place with Lazio (862). However, there are eight Italian ports among the top twenty in the Mediterranean basin with Palermo in tenth place: nine positions up compared to 2019.

The evolutionary trajectories of cruise tourism in Palermo are evident. Two numbers are enough: in 2019 – the last year before the pandemic emergency which overturned the sector, affecting the data for 2020, 2021 and 2022 – Palermo welcomed 570,500 cruise passengers, by the end of 2023 there will be 930 thousand. A result resulting from significant investments and a strategic vision. “Having created accommodation infrastructures, five terminals in three ports, having started redevelopment works and created real sea gates for our cities has also represented an important plus in cruise terms – explains the president ofPort System Authority of the Western Sicilian Sea, Pasqualino Monti -. One billion works completed (of which over 600 million already finished and 400 million in progress) and a double-digit increase in all individual sectors of the blue economy, which grew this year not only compared to 2022, but also compared to 2019 , are a presentation that needs no other comments, other than those of the shipowners who have repaid our efforts by allocating their flagships to our main port, today with seabeds and accommodation facilities suited to our traffic ambitions”.

“Our airports, and Palermo in particular – continues Monti – are expressing great dynamism, giving concrete answers in terms of services and operations. We like Sicily, but beauty alone would not have been enough, infrastructural and economic development was needed, also decisive for the territories involved including four provinces, which promises, in the near future, to give further satisfaction. We are working, in fact, so that West Sicily Gate, which manages our terminals, can realize the ambitious projects it has set itself and which concern not only the increase in passengers, but also the commitment to ensure that our ports become home ports, creating that additional spin-off consisting of passengers who reach the city by plane and who spend a few days here before embarking for the start of the cruise”.

And the forecasts are excellent. The Italian Cruise Watch, in fact, places Palermo in 2024, for the first time, in the small club of ports that will exceed one million cruise passengers with Civitavecchia, Naples and Genoa. But the primary objective of the AdSP is to increase the number of the entire network. Also from the new edition of Italian Cruise Watch it is revealed that the total value of port investments in cruise tourism expected in Italy in the three-year period 2024-2026 is over 1.6 billion euros, of which 32.6% dedicated to the construction of new terminals cruise services (almost 530 million), 26.7% for the preparation of ports for alternative supplies and energy supplies at the dock (approximately 430 million) and over 20% for the construction of other infrastructures serving the cruise industry (330 million).