Photo credits: Bled Strategic Forum
Photo credits: Bled Strategic Forum

On the 28 August, The 2015 Young BSF opened the annual Bled Strategic Forum, one of the leading international conferences in the region. Many prominent guests from Europe and beyond including President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council attended the forum traditionally organized at Bled. Business Bled Strategic Forum tackled the issues in the tourism industry and searched for new partnerships.

Organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective, the Bled Strategic Forum has been organized for the 10th time already. [pullquote]Over the last decade, the Bled Strategic Forum has grown into a successful platform for high-level strategic dialogue among leaders from the private and public sectors on key issues facing Europe and the world in the 21st century.[/pullquote]
“Vision of new partnership” has been the main theme of the 2015 Forum that included many panel discussions on topics like Bridges of the Mediterranean: The Power of Intercultural Dialogue, Development Is a Global Partnership, Strengthening the Fight against Impunity through Partnerships and Cooperation, Western Balkans: The Region at the Centre of Geostrategic Deliberations and The Ageing Society and Development: Is Progress without Change Possible.

In scope of the event a Business Bled Strategic Forum that brought together businessmen and policy-makers in a joint quest for responding to the new economic environment and discovering the path towards smart, inclusive and sustainable growth was held. As tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, a large part of the BBSF was dedicated to “Building new partnership for a strong tourism industry”. International guests including Alain Dupeyras, Head of Tourism, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Márcio Favilla Lucca de Paula, Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations, World Tourism Organization, Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Thailand, Wei Hongtao, Member of the Party Leadership Group, China National Tourism Administration, China, Pedro Ortun, Principal Adviser for Tourism and Corporate Social Responsibility, DG GROW, European Commission, Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia and Mihály Varga, Minister for National Economy of Hungary joined the panel.

»A platform combining Central and Eastern Europe is a new approach to partnerships in this sector. It is a valuable instrument and an organizational model for overcoming numerous limitations to achieve even better results in this field. Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) are thus looking in the same direction, towards emerging markets, which in terms of visa regimes, air connections and cultural differences present a great challenge for Europe, but also have exceptional potential. Together, Central and Eastern European countries can achieve synergy effects and their common objective: to present Central and Eastern Europe in overseas markets as a single comprehensive destination in the most effective way. A billion tourists mean a billion opportunities for growth, new jobs, and the development of local and underdeveloped destinations, environmental responsibility and enhancement of overall respect. Only together can we turn a billion tourists into a billion opportunities,” wrote on the Business Bled Strategic Forum’s web site.

Photo credits: Bled Strategic Forum 2015