Region Gotland and Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) have today signed an Memorandum Of Understanding with the intention of developing Visby as a cruise destination.
"Despite the fact that all cruise ships that move in a north-south direction in the Baltic pass by Gotland, the island can no longer keep up with cruise tourism development. The lack of a quay is the biggest problem. We are consequently very happy to commence collaboration with CMP, who we can develop activities with," said Åke Svensson, Chairman of the Regional Board.
"We see great potential in Gotland as a cruise destination and as another stop-off point in our cruise program," added Johan Röstin, CMP's CEO.
The MOU means the parties shall:
• Produce a common business concept to strengthen the parties' market positions in the cruise industry.
• Work out a long-term function and marketing plan and financial model for a new cruise quay.
• The necessary service structure to be developed with Gotland's commerce.
The goal is to have agreed on a long-term collaboration agreement by 31st December 2014. In parallel with the negotiations Region Gotland is mustering strength to be able to start construction as soon as possible. A new quay can be ready for use by 2018.
Commerce also is faced with preparing for receiving significantly more visitors, and over a longer season than the traditional summer vacation period. This work kicks off with a breakfast meeting organised by Region Gotland on 14th February.
During the period 2000 to 2012 the number of cruise passengers in the Baltic rose from 1.1 million to 4.2 million. A cruise quay in Visby is estimated to increase the number of calls to around 150 cruise ships annually, with an average passenger load of around 1 700 passengers per vessel, generating income to commerce of around SEK 90-130 million SEK per year.
CMP is Northern Europe's leading cruise harbour with around 346 calls and more than 800,000 passengers from more than 150 countries annually in Copenhagen.