Photo by: ACI archives
PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD OF ACI D.D.
Kristijan Pavić, nautical engineer, started his career as the main electronics officer at the cruisers of Carnival Cruise Linea, an American-British travel company which today has 24 cruisers. After six years of “navigating” the world seas, he returns to Croatia in 2006, first as the director of the County Port Authority of Dubrovnik and director of the Port Authority of Dubrovnik, where he successfully uses his acquired knowledge and experience to position Dubrovnik as one of the leading global cruising destinations.
His reputation and influence in the world cruising industry is recognized in 2016, when he becomes the President of MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports, which has 72 members and represents the common interests of more than 100 ports. In August that same year, Kristijan Pavić faced a new and, definitely the greatest challenge in his career so far when he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of ACI d.d.
How do you currently see ACI, the largest Croatian nautical company?
ACI set the foundations of nautical tourism in Croatia and continues to be one of the Mediterranean’s largest marinas chain. It has its own history and tradition, and, today, it is a recognizable brand in the nautical world. However, it still has great potential for further development and growth. Namely, regardless of the existing infrastructure and ideal distribution of ACI marinas along the shore and on the islands and the marinas positioned on the best locations throughout the Adriatic Sea, we are still not market leaders in all business segments. It is my mission to strengthen ACI’s leadership position not just in the sense of increasing the number of marinas, but through intense development and implementation of an entire portfolio of nautical services, all the while achieving excellence in the quality of service. Our competition is of excellent quality today and also quite efficient; nautical tourism in Croatia is marked by significant growth since the market is demanding and nautical standards keep rising. ACI has always set the standard in nautical tourism in the Republic of Croatia, and we intend to keep that position, which is not an easy task.
What is the business policy of the company regarding luxury yachts, whose owners are now finding the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea more and more appealing?
The market segment of super and mega yachts is one of the most lucrative segments of luxury sailing. It has a string of niches in which you can profit if you have the preconditions for it; starting from the berth for yachts of such dimensions, the marina organization and the infrastructure necessary for their technical and energy sustainability, as well as offers in the marina and the actual destination which need to be at the highest level for guests of such vessels. High service standards need to cover the possibility of catering to every desire of the crew and their guests, and provide the solution of potential problems that may arise during the maintenance of such vessels. Some ACI marinas have the option of daily berth offers for super and mega yachts. However, our orientation towards that market is indisputable. ACI marina Rovinj will be the first ACI marina that will completely do business in that segment in the sense of offering berths and striving towards achieving superb service and span of offer, as well as the organization of the marina. With its surroundings and orientation, ACI marina Dubrovnik is an attractive destination which can take in and offer longer stay to yachts of bigger dimensions. In accordance with that, we are conducting an analysis of possible options for the projects that would include expanding the Dubrovnik marina with all the necessary infrastructure on the coastal wall and pontoons as a prerequisite of accepting yachts of significantly larger dimensions than has been the case so far. On the one hand, by designing the complete offer and adjusting the level of service for such guests, redecorating Sorkočević Summer House and botanical gardens, and, finally, reconstructing the entire scope of the marina in Dubrovnik, we have already made a significant step forward in that direction by organizing the plateau of the service center and dry berth, and by constructing the pool of the self-propelled crane with 130t of lifting capacity, suited for such large yachts. On the other hand, through the segment of luxury offer for target clientele such as the guests of our marinas, we have implemented an experimental project of setting up golf courses – Golf Range Concept – at ACI marina Dubrovnik, which covers and simulates all segments of a large golf course on a reduced surface as a realistic simulator and field to practice all types of shots. That is the direction in which we will continue with our efforts in order to raise the level and quality of offer for our guests and outside visitors of the marina.
In which direction will the company develop further?
The ACI development strategy includes defining the future role of each individual ACI marina within the system, as well as within the destination itself; determining the direction of their business; investing in the redecoration or reconstruction of the marinas to increase the level of infrastructure equipment; and developing the offer in accordance with the type of services suitable for the role a certain marina will have. Another direction is to increase capacity by building new marinas, or acquiring and taking over the existing marinas in the region as managers; that is something that we can use to incorporate our intention of spreading business towards the market of super and mega yachts, that is, to increase and adjust the capacities of marinas for vessels of larger sizes. That way of doing business includes intense development of digitizing operations with the aim of simplifying and accelerating the work process, which will in the end result in our guests having practically every service “in the palm of their hand” during sailing; when that is achieved, they can reserve every service in advance, swiftly and simply through the mobile platforms. ACI d.d. has 22 marinas and 2 anchorages in its system, from Umag to Dubrovnik. ACI has noted a growth of business every year since 2011, which creates prerequisites for further development. However, in order to reach ACI’s full potential, we need to work actively in several directions. The age of increasing and advancing the quality of services is definitely ahead of us. Bearing in mind the considerable revenue and good business results for the past ten years, ACI is able to finance a large part of the investment cycle from its own funds. However, it also has the opportunity to obtain funds under extremely favorable conditions from banks, which is certainly a large plus when considering the options of further development.