The overtourism discussion is often conducted in connection with cruise tourism and currently relates primarily to Mediterranean destinations. Also in the Baltic ports of Tallinn, Rīga and Klaipėda the increasing cruise tourism means additional income, but at the same time increasing numbers of tourists.
The report "Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in Baltic Destinations - A Study of Cruise Tourism in Terms of Economic Impact and Acceptance by Population" from the University of Applied Sciences Schleswig-Holstein (DHSH) investigates whether the discussion on overtourism known from Mediterranean destinations is also taking place or could take place in Baltic destinations. To this end, the development and economic impact of cruise tourism will be examined in more detail. Subsequently, the attitudes of tourism managers and residents towards this type of travel will be recorded and the degree of use of the destination by cruise tourism will be assessed. In addition, the development perspectives of the three destinations are
Cruises represent an important economic factor in all three ports and generate millions of euros in revenues from port fees and passenger expenditure. However, Tallinn, Rīga and Klaipėda are far from having the tourism and cruise intensity of Venice and Dubrovnik. Apart from the positive economic effects of tourism, this may be one reason why a negative attitude towards cruise tourism is not apparent at present. There has not been any organised resistance or protests against cruise tourism so far. On the contrary, in some cases there is even an explicitly pro-tourism attitude.
In the future, all three destinations intend to further expand cruise tourism. This is to be achieved by increasing the number of calls and taking advantage of the trend towards increasingly larger ships. Above all, the larger ships unload more and more passengers at the same time, which increases the risk of selective congestion.
The recipe for success for the future development of cruise tourism lies in a sensitive coordination of the interests of the various stakeholders. In addition to the cruise operators,
these include the tourism marketing organisations and, above all, the local population.
Prof. Dr. Ingo Menke zum Felde
University of Applied Sciences (DHSH)
23566 Luebeck, Germany