Could you introduce yourself in two sentences – one in your private capacity and the other as a public persona?
Soon to be a boring 40 year old guy, oh, but still kicking in my 30’s and feeling like in my 20’s! I do feel good in this skin of mine – I don’t hide it – even in business!
Which are your favourite magazines in the tourism category?
I am very happy with the regional magazines such as Kongres, UT etc. Ediman MICE magazines Italy and ICJ MICE German magazines are great too.
Which was the last book you read and which book would you recommend to our readers?
I am just finishing Larsson’s trilogy, the ‘Millennium’ – in Swedish – but a good Coelho, combined with one of the Croatian big reds, is actually my perfect match!
Which was the last event you attended?
I was planning to go to IMEX America but couldn’t make it, had to cancel, unfortunately, but I will definitely attend EIBTM 2011 and Conventa 2012.
Which was the last movie you saw?
Larry Crowne – funny, relaxing, “our generation” movie!
How many foreign languages do you speak?
Croatian is my mother tongue, but I also speak English, Russian and Swedish. I definitely need to improve my German.
Who were your idols when you were growing up and who are they today?
As all kids, I also had my idols: TV idols, music idols, sport idols…. Most of mine are still active and doing really good after all these years! So they are still the same idols, ha!
What was your first and your current job?
My first real full-time job was at an American-Russian cruise company some 15 years ago: cruise management aboard vessels along the Russian waterways combined with repeated caviar and ice-cold vodka tastings (OMG!). Currently I am very active at Dubrovnik Travel.
What is the first thing you do when you come to work?
I work all the time more or less, have no specific working hours, so coming to the office is only to be at the disposal of my colleagues face to face, the rest I am at the disposal of my clients. I am often on the road and also supervising the majority of the DT events in Croatia.
What was the greatest influence on your life? Was it a person or an event?
People around me made the events of my life, I love people, and I love events! I started throwing parties at home when I was a little kid, true!
Could you highlight your best and worse life experience?
I have not just one, but three best life experiences – MARK, 11, ERIKA, 10 and NIKA, 7! The worst experience was definitely the winter of 1991, when Yugoslav war criminals brutally attacked my home town, Dubrovnik.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my big family, especially my wife Sanja and her B.I.G. support!
Which success story from the area of tourism would you mention?
The story of Ovation Global…. Chapeau!
Which marketing idea sticks out the most in the area of tourism?
Funny and unusual ideas like the Ovation Bear project, funny, relaxing “make me smile” videos like the Portorož Destination video….
What do you think is missing most in Croatian and SE Europe’s meeting industry?
I definitely see a lack of understanding from local and national authorities. These guys don’t understand how different and important it is to host an international or a national event, how the destination gets a more professional exposure and how the meeting industry opens other opportunities for development and success! The first one that discovers the huge benefit of this industry will be the regional winner! But they always have more important issues …mostly under the table.
Would you share with us your favourite places to visit in spring, summer, autumn and winter?
Spring and autumn, definitely Croatia – the famous Croatian triangle: Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. In Summer I love the mountains and fresh air like in the Slovenian Alps. In winter, hmmm, I like warmer places, sorry, once Sanja and I went to the Seychelles (without kids) and that was perfect, inspiring too.
What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What is that? You mean when I sleep?
Your life’s motto?
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln.