What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Croatia? Is it the sun and the sea with beautiful beaches? The mediterranean as it once was? Dubrovnik? Maybe Split or Hvar?

Croatia is much more than that. From the very beginnings of tourism in Croatia, in the mid 19th century, a strong connection between tourism and business was established. This long lasting tradition in leisure tourism was also a great starting point for the development of the MICE offer.

Today Croatia is a safe and stable country with beautiful nature and a rich cultural heritage. If you are meetings professional in search of a new and exciting destination, Croatia could be the hidden treasure you’ve been looking for. Whether you are organising a small/medium sized convention or incentive travel, Croatia has a lot to offer: from premium hotels with state-of-the-art meeting rooms to special historic venues. Of course, our experienced DMC and PCO agencies will help you with their knowledge and expertise. Croatia is new and fresh, still undiscovered, a business destination that offers numerous opportunities. It is close to major European metropolis, so hurry up and discover it!

Being fresh, however, also means that there are still some challenges that we have to deal with on our way to becoming widely recognised as a competitive MICE destination. A recently held public discussion, organised by Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Croatian Meeting Professional Association, was one of the first steps in that direction. I’m sure that Croatia’s time is yet to come. In a little over a year we will join the European Union, as the 28th member country. Meeting professionals in Croatia believe that this will open new opportunities, and they are determined to seize them!

I’m proud to present to you a special Croatian addendum in this respectable regional MICE magazine, Kongres. This addendum is, in a way, one small step in our integration into the EU business environment.

From now on, in every issue of the Kongres magazine you will have the opportunity to read news from the Croatian meetings industry. Also, we will write about our experiences in meetings organisation and about hardworking individuals that prove Croatia is a county of successful and creative people.

Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all the authors who have shared their thoughts and ideas in this issue.

Daniela Kos