With the Academy Ceremony, ACI celebrated four decades of excellence, care for the community and promotion of the Republic of Croatia through nautical, and the presence of numerous high-ranking guests confirmed the importance that the national chain of marinas has for the overall national economy, as well as the image of Croatia in the world

The largest chain of marinas in the Mediterranean and a regional leader in nautical tourism, ACI d.d. crowned the 40th anniversary of its existence with a ceremonial Academy held in the congress hall of the Lone Hotel in Rovinj, which it celebrated with various activities and events throughout the year 2023. Along with the president of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavić, and members of the Management Board, Dr. sc. Ivan Herak and Josip Ostrogović, the ceremony was attended by the representative of the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and the State Secretary for the Sea and EU Funds in the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Josip Bilaver, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac, Director of Croatia tourist community, Kristjan Staničić and numerous other high-ranking guests from the national tourism and economic sector and local and regional governments, as well as former and current employees of the national nautical chain.

The Mediterranean leader has been sailing bravely at the top of world nautical tourism for 40 years


“Commemorating the jubilee 40th anniversary of ACI’s activities, I first of all want to express my gratitude to all current and former colleagues who built and raised ACI to the level of a Mediterranean leader, which rightfully belongs to the very top of world nautical tourism. We maintain this position even today and refine it further every day, which is best confirmed by numerous strategic investments in the excellence of infrastructure and services, as well as international awards, the awarding of which is decided by the sailors themselves. We are especially proud of Ivica Kostelić, a prominent member of ACI’s sailing family, who won the title of Mediterranean champion in the 40 class this season – on a boat called ACI40 in honor of the anniversary we are celebrating today. For us, this triumph represents the absolute crown of the celebratory year and the most beautiful possible gift for which we thank him from the bottom of our hearts, and guided by his example and winning pedigree, we continue to new victories that we will certainly talk about in the next 40 years”, said the president of the ACI d.d. board. , Kristijan Pavić.
Over the course of four decades, ACI established itself as a national and regional synonym for excellence in professional and social activities, and positioned Croatia at the very top of the world in nautical, greatly contributing to the overall tourism results and national competitiveness of the Republic of Croatia. The vision of a unique national chain of marinas, which was far ahead of its time at the time, was turned into reality by the founder of ACI, Veljko Barbieri, in 1983, and the first 16 ACI marinas were built in a record time of 18 months. Everything after that is history, during which this national flagship grew into the largest chain of marinas in the entire Mediterranean, connecting the most beautiful parts of the Croatian coast and islands with 22 top nautical tourism ports that annually contribute to the most significant part of the total national income from tourism.

ACI marina Rijeka will be a perfect collection of the most modern standards – preservation of the sea and the environment, sustainability, renewable resources and the most advanced technological solutions


“The joint company ACI – GITONE, which we founded in partnership with the company GITONE Kvarner, received the honor and responsibility of realizing the largest nautical project in the history of the Republic of Croatia, and we are extremely pleased that in the year in which we celebrate this great jubilee, we have officially taken over concession for the construction of the future ACI Marina Rijeka. This project is of strategic importance for Croatian tourism, but also for the economy as a whole, which will give rise to the most technologically advanced marina in the Mediterranean and an exemplary example of nautical infrastructure for future ports of nautical tourism around the world. ACI marina Rijeka will stand out on a global level primarily with advanced technological solutions, focused primarily on the protection and preservation of the sea and the environment for future generations. Since we have always set trends when it comes to nautical tourism, we have readily accepted the role of leader in another field, especially when it comes to the implementation of the most advanced technologies. In addition to numerous boaters, the new Rijeka marina will bring a number of benefits to the entire local community of Istria and Kvarner. The fact that more than 130 new jobs are planned in the marina, and many times more with related activities, is certainly an additional wind at the back,” announced Josip Ostrogović, a member of the ACI Management Board.
The trust shown for the realization of the largest nautical project in the history of the Republic of Croatia, worth more than 50 million euros, is the result of an impressive business portfolio and unsurpassed references in the implementation of the green energy transition in the wider area of the Mediterranean. What ACI is doing for the purpose of further socio-economic development of the Republic of Croatia and ensuring the conditions for top business results that are in line with care for the sea, the environment and the community was discussed by the member of the ACI Management Board, Dr. sc. Ivan Herak. “From its very beginnings, from way back in 1983, ACI was an economic entity ahead of its time, and it is today and will undoubtedly be in the next 40 years. One of our biggest tasks in the years ahead is best illustrated by the fact that ACI became one of the members of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley consortium, which is on the track of the European Green Plan, the Hydrogen Strategy of the Republic of Croatia until 2050, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia and on the track Strategies for the sustainable development of tourism in the Republic of Croatia. We are proud to point out that we are participating in this strategically important project with the aim of implementing hydrogen technologies, reducing energy dependence and increasing the energy efficiency and self-sustainability of ACI’s marinas”, emphasized the member of the ACI Board, PhD. Ivan Herak.

Nautical tourism is one of the most important components of national tourism, and its future development will be directed towards sustainability

and digitization


The importance of the nautical sector led by ACI for the national tourism of the Republic of Croatia and its future was confirmed by the Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac. “Nautical tourism is a very important segment of our tourist offer, and it is precisely in this big role that ACI plays. Year after year, ACI invests in quality, competitiveness, monitors and listens to its users, and that is precisely why it is the winner of a large number of awards. Proper waste water management, proper reduction of waste, saving water and turning to renewable energy sources are not only the wishes and needs of individuals, but the necessity and obligation of all stakeholders in the tourism system. What makes me especially happy is that ACI is the leader of sustainability and follows the trends of sustainable tourism. Tourists are changing their habits, they are looking for destinations that are sustainable, that take care of their green footprint, and therefore I congratulate ACI on sustainability and on receiving all sustainability standards”, she concluded.
The infrastructural advances in the first 40 years of operation and the promising potentials, capacities and competences for the additional expansion of the national nautical portfolio were also praised by the representative of the Vice President of the Republic of Croatia and the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, as well as the State Secretary for the Sea and EU Funds in the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure. Josip Bilaver. “Without exaggeration, we can boast that today Croatia is one of the leading nautical destinations in the world, especially in the Mediterranean. Nautical tourism is certainly one of Croatia’s distinctive features, which emphasizes our most valuable asset, the Adriatic Sea. From 1984 and the first marinas, until today, ACI is growing and developing, and with its work and activities, it fully justifies its existence. We are pleased by the fact that even in the recent past, ACI has continued to invest in new marinas, such as the one in Rovinj, but also that a large investment is now underway in ACI Marina Rijeka in Porto Baroš. I believe that in its future operations, ACI will take care of setting the highest standards when it comes to environmental protection and that it will be a leader in the introduction of digitalization and the transition to renewable energy sources”, he pointed out.


Photos: Davor Žunić / Petar Fabijan

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