Meetologue 2015

PEARL OF THE ADRIATIC

Congress geography of the former Yugoslavia recognized city locations of Ljubljana, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade, and Adriatic locations Portorož, Opatija and Dubrovnik. These cities are still by some accounts seen as locations from the olden days.

I was first turned to Dubrovnik by legendary professor Ignacij Voje, one of the experts on SE Europe and the Dubrovnik republic, which used to dictate the faith of the entire region. With each visit I remember his comparison of Dubrovnik to some sort of renaissance Hong Kong. The republic peaked in the 15th century. For twelve centuries it defied the pressures and threats of superpowers with trade skills and diplomacy. The character of the people of Dubrovnik can be summarized by the inscription above the entrance to the Lovrijenac fortress: “Freedom is not for sale for all the gold in the world”.

I’ve been visiting Dubrovnik on a regular basis since 1996, when the city was wounded by a brutal Chetnik attack. In 1998 I was one of the few guests of a conference on Project Management in Cavtat. At that time Hotel Croatia was the only serious convention hotel and it didn’t look too bright. Hotels at Babin kuk still looked pretty grim and were mostly abandoned. Where the Radisson Blu stands today, the former Dubrovački vrtovi sunca were full of refugees. The Dubrovnik of that time was replaced by new convention hotels, the insufferable summer crowds and a feeling your at the centre of the world. On a random visit to Stradun you can run into John McEnroe, preparing for a tennis match against veteran Goran Ivanišević in front of the Duke’s Palace. Many celebrities visit the city. As a sign of complete tourist renovation the Srđ funicular was finished this year, finally putting an unpleasant era of the city behind it.

dubrovnik, city, walls, croatia
DID YOU KNOW?
That Dubrovnik, back then an independent state, was the first nation to formally recognise the United States as a nation when it declared independence from Great Britain.

Dubrovnik is a city growing and developing due to the meetings industry. It will be a big part of the future of this industry for the entire region. First, as the most successful Croatian and regional brand on the global meetings market. With little exaggeration we can claim the destination brand of the entire region will hang on Dubrovnik.
It will lead the region as the first destination where international and local hotel chains are opening convention centres and performing intensive co-branding. The results are numerous incentives of international corporations to book up the season and convention centre openings one after the other. Last year saw the opening of Valmar Lacroma and Radisson Blu convention centres, and the renovation of many others.

Meetings infrastructure: In a very short time Dubrovnik developed all kinds of convention agencies and other service providers. Business innovations and ideas have no limit, except with the deal to build a new convention centre, which has been put off for many years and would enable Dubrovnik to compete for large international conventions. Considering the number of available rooms and other infrastructure, we can be certain meetings industry is important for Dubrovnik.

Everything is not ideal and the people of Dubrovnik will tell you themselves. Accessibility is still not as good as it should be (to few air connections). High season is not suitable for organizing meetings, since overbooking can happen and the tourist priorities are aimed elsewhere. Terrible crowds can cause less friendly tourist workers. Additional culinary services are not always the best and are mostly overpriced. The traffic jams can get out of control – travelling from Babin Kuk to the centre can become quite a feat. Everybody is eagerly awaiting the highway from Ploče to Dubrovnik, which is coming at an unknown time in the future, since no one can yet predict what will happen with the bridge to Pelješac.

Lovrijenac

The vision of the destination is the key question. I personally believe the meetings industry can change the image of Dubrovnik. It is possible new investments in the meetings industry will change the sociological structure of tourists. I have to add, the key question is always the vision of the destination and the knowledge the infrastructure will be successfully marketed.

The wonderful setting of Dubrovnik is only a part of the story; the meetings industry is largely the logical industry for Dubrovnik. It is only missing some important investments into infrastructure and meetings infrastructure.

The meetings organizers can learn much from Dubrovnik, the inscription on the door to the Duke’s Palace: “Obliti privatorum publica curate” or “Forget your own gains and take care of the common ones”.

WHAT'S HOT IN 2016

Just a few minutes drive from the centre of Dubrovnik now lies the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel, which is Croatia’s second Sheraton hotel.

Thorough renovation of Hotel Kompas lead to a category upgrade of 4*.

From November to January the city of Dubrovnik brings together fun, culture, enjoyment, gastronomy and art.

A Unique New Historic Venue in Dubrovnik, recently completely restored and embellished with modern facilities.

DESTINATION GRADE

4.33

QUALITY MEETINGS DESTINATION
grade:
5 – excellent meetings destination
4 – quality meetings destination
3 – reccommendable meetings destination
2 – average meetings destination
1 – so so

A. Natural and cultural factors: 4.99

Stone Palace, which hides many stories, will greeet you in all its splendour as it has for centuries greeted travellers from around the world. The magnificent city is one of the tourist icons of the Adriatic and justifiably the most painted tourist skyline with unprecedented experiental diversity for conference guests.

B. General and transport infrastructure: 4.59

Among Croatian destinations Dubrovnik depends the most on the availability of flights. Hence this year’s forecasted record number of flights is gratifying for congress organizers. The city is safe, as evidenced by the current analysis of the portal Trip Advisor. The city is logistically regulated solidly, it is only necessary to avoid the largest tourist crowds in the middle of the seasoon.

C. Tourist infrastructure: 4.98

Dubrovnik is once again well established on the world tourist map as a leading tourist destination in the region. Given the extensive tourist infrastructure, locals would want to stretch the summer crowds on the rest of the year. In addition to the legendary and iconic hotels like the Excelsior, the city offers a variety of hotel accommodations and is regarding restaurants and entertainment lively day and night.

D. Meetings infrastructure: 4.78

To have convention completness Dubrovnik is only missing a modern multifunctional convention centre, which has been planned for a long time. So far, it is succesfully replaced by modern and well-equipped centres at hotels such as Dubrovnik Palace, Excelsior, Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Importanne Resort, Dubrovnik President, Valamar Lacroma and Radisson Blu. Well-developed is the entire conference infrastructure including managment and the creative agency scene.

E. Subjective grade: 4.75

The world destination is again attracting well-known names and world class events. It is the strongest brand of the region in the meetings industry, which hardly dissapoints or leaves in-different. Dubrovnik ignites love at first site.

F. Marketing buzz: 4.96

When you’re a recognised tourist icon, the marketing tends to take care of itself. This is not quite the case for the meetings industry, although it can help quite a lot. The great advantage of Dubrovnik is that the director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, actually comes from the meetings industry and therefore well understands the multiplier effect. Further helping this, Dubrovnik is excellently organised and promoted, ensuring that it is the leading light among the eregional offices.

DUBROVNIK INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2016 
DESTINATION MARK:4.33
Natural and cultural factors:

4.99
General and transport infrastructure:4.59
Tourist infrastructure:4.98
Meeting infrastructure:4.78
Subjective grade:4.75
Marketing Buzz:4.96
ICCA index:2.24
Numbeo quality of life Index:4.00
Global Peace Index:3.70

BEST INCENTIVE IDEA

Dubrovnik polaroid treasure hunt
The programme has been adapted to Dubrovnik’s most attractive locations, where teams get the chance to explore, compete and have fun. Tasks include answering a list of questions, as well as finding and photographing objects and situations inside the city walls.

COMPARISION WITH THE REGION

Dubrovnik is the flagship of regional tourism and is the first association of meetings organizers we meet daily. It has still not reached its full potential. It is the closest in the region to renowned Mediterranean convention destinations Cannes and Monte Carlo. It has the biggest potential in the area of corporate and other incentives; after the completion of the convention centre also in the area of international associations conventions.

COOL MEETINGS

DUBROVAČKA ROŽATA – The dessert of Dubrovnik’s nobility. Cream eggs with caramel sauce, served most often with the sweet liquer of fruit. One of Croatian versions of the world-famous cream with caramel.

Dubrovnik Tourist Board & Convention Bureua
Brsalje 5
20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Ms. Romana Vlašič
E: romana.vlasic@tzdubrovnik.hr
T: +385 20 312 015

www.tzdubrovnik.hr

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