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Overlooking the cruise port from Alicante castle

Cruise tourism continues to improve in Alicante, with only last week the port hosting two vessels on the same day, catering for a total of 2,300 passengers who visited the city for between four and seven hours.

The director of operations of the of the cruise terminal in the Port of Alicante, Fracesco Balbi, announced recent figures last week showing the improved performance that has been achieved since ‘Costablanca Portuaria’ took over the concession.

In 2013, the port hosted 41,800 passengers who arrived on 29 vessels. This year, the number has risen to 32 cruise liners and 55,000 passengers, showing an increase of 24% in the number of passengers arriving in the city in a period of just one year.

But the largest increase is expected to take place next year when the authority has scheduled 49 cruise vessels bring in over 90,000 tourists. This is double the number of cruise arrivals in the city within just two years.

Balbi says that these figures are the result of the efforts that have been made in the last 12 months by the Port Authority, the City of Alicante and ‘Costablanca Portuaria’ which have made a large number of improvements to the cruise capability of the city.

The arrival hall, which was little more than a shell, has been refurbished and now includes a wifi network, air conditioning, services for the disabled, a tourist information office and free bus shuttles that connect the terminal to the city center. And next year even more improvements are planned including a chill out area and a café.

The improved facility and increased passenger numbers is also expected to have a major ‘spill over effect’ on the tourist economy in the local area, a major benefit that will impact greatly on the city from an economic point of view. There will be more cruise passengers staying longer and spending more money.

Many of the passengers will embark and disembark at Alicante so this will benefit the transport systems, such as the airport, with flights arriving and departing from Alicante to and from the cities of origin of the cruisers. Many more will arrive and depart on the AVE rail network system.

Hotels will also benefit as it is customary for tourists to stay a day or two in the city of departure or arrival of their cruise.

And not satisfied with what they have so far achieved the Port Authority and dealership are preparing to visit Barcelona where they will attend the ‘Seatrade Med’ from 16 to 18 September, which is being held for the first time in Spain.

This week a further two cruises will arrive in the port, one on Tuesday and another on Sunday, with 2,300 passengers in total. Throughout the month of September there will be eight cruise ships calling at Alicante, which will bring 11,067 tourists to the city. The biggest of them will arrive on September 17. This is the AIDAblue, which has the capacity to carry 2,500 passengers.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44825/

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