Project “Sail Serbia” – Plan Includes Marinas in Sombor, Kladovo and Smederevo, as Well as Procurement of Eco Boats for Transport of Tourists

Source: eKapija Sunday, 04.02.2024. 12:08
(Photo: Aleksandra Kekić)
The assistant minister for water traffic of Serbia, Predrag Petrovic, has stated that, through the realization of the project “Sail Serbia”, all the potentials and resources of our country will be shown, because it envisages the construction of marinas, terminals and floats for international and local line water transport and the procurement of eco boats for the transport of tourists. Petrovic added that the project was planned in several phases and that the first phase entailed the construction of five marinas.

– The works in Veliko Gradiste on the construction of the marina have started, and the works in Golubac will start very soon. There are also plans to build marinas in Sombor, Kladovo and Smederevo, and in that sense, we think that, right before the very beginning of the specialized international exhibition EXPO 2027, but maybe even before, we will complete that first part of the project’s phase – emphasized Petrovic and added that, in 2023, within that project, three international passenger terminals had opened – Zemun, Sremska Mitrovica and Sabac, and that the one in Banostor was planned to be opened too.

– On February 6, we will sign the agreement on the mutual rights and obligations and the beginning of the realization of the projects between the Ministry of Tourism, the Port Governance Agency and the local self-government in Beocin. In addition to Banostor, we have the idea to also create international passenger terminals in Ram and Sremski Karlovci, which will most probably be started this year and opened in Ram – Petrovic said.

As he emphasized, the idea is to also open these three international passenger terminals as soon as possible, in addition to the 10 that Serbia already has, seven on the Danube and three on the Sava.

Petrovic said that the aim of the project “Sail Serbia” was to improve the nautical offer of the country and to attract not just local tourists, but also foreign ones, investors and people who want to take a look at our country from the river in general.

He emphasized that increasingly more passengers and goods sailed the rivers and that it was a great opportunity for Serbia, not just for tourism and nautics, but also for the economy.

– As for the local canal traffic, we have four floats, which are Sombor, Apatin, Odzaci and Novi Sad. The floats for local line traffic are in Sombor, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Belgrade and Smederevo. We will work on floats for international canal traffic and international line traffic, he pointed out.

As he said, the second phase of the project also entails the procurement of eco boats for the transport of local and foreign tourists.

– We will procure at least two to three eco boats, and perhaps even more in the coming period, as much as the conditions allow for it and as much as we can develop this project. By the way, this project aims to upgrade not just tourism, but also other industries, which will also give the local populace the opportunity to get employed – Petrovic said.

He emphasized that the initial investments in this project were close to EUR 30 million, that is, in the construction of marinas, international passenger terminals, as well as the procurement of eco boats. These investments, he says, could increase and be bigger than EUR 70 million or even go up to EUR 100 million. He adds that an investment in this project also leads to investments in other industries, such as tourism and hospitality and the reconstruction of cultural-historical monuments.

Petrovic also mentioned the nautical season and emphasized that there had been around 1,400 cruise ship dockings in Serbia in 2023, as in 2022, but that the number of passengers on those cruise ships had been much higher in 2023, by more than 30%. He added that over 180,000 passengers had docked.

– As for the structure, people from various countries are coming, from Canada, Australia, Mexico. Perhaps the most significant population is from Germany and Austria, but also other Danube countries. We truly have passengers from various parts of the world – pointed out Petrovic.

He said that the goal was for the number of passengers to grow at least 30% each year.

The project is implemented by the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure in cooperation with the Port Governance Agency and other relevant institutions.

The president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, presented the project “Sail Serbia” last year and announced at the time that there would be 12 stations on the Danube, from Sombor to Apatin, Odzaci, Novi Sad, Smederevo, that marinas, passenger terminals, floats for international and local line transport were planned, all the way to Prahovo, and that it would all have to be done in the next two years.

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