According to the latest Eurostat data, Europe will pass through the recession and is on the path of slow recovery in 2014. At the beginning of the year we would like to measure the temperature and expectations among the various convention bureaus of the region participating at the trade show Conventa.

Q: What are expectations for 2014 at your convention destination?
As an emerging destination, Serbia placed itself as one of the fastest growing destination in Europe, and is constantly growing since, due to large investments in the convention infrastructure and facilities. Several major international hotel chains have opened their hotels here, all with the same reason – huge potential market, and lots of brand new hotel openings are on the doorstep.  As the major economic hub in South East Europe, the new national carrier Air Serbia, in cooperation with Etihad airline company, has made this destination easy accessible with over 100 percent increase in number of flights per week. And, with the announcement of new routes over Europe, Asia and USA through its codeshare partners, we are certainly expecting major impact to be shown. Due to all this, our expectations are the same as ever, and that is constant development and growth, which will put Serbia on the higher ladder on the destination market.

Q: What areas and development priorities are you paying the most attention to?
As a destination with enormous growth recorded during past few years, investments are far more important for this progress to continue. Our priority development zones are not just investments in the infrastructure, but also in the education features. We believe that in our industry total satisfaction of customers is not just in the huge amenities like spacious rooms or luxurious bathrooms, but also in the knowledgeable and experienced service providers. Also, something on what we are constantly focusing our efforts is without doubt the improvement of Serbia visibility as an outstanding convention destination in Europe.

Q: Your main competitive advantage? Where are you better than the competition?
Serbia offers all the ingredients necessary for lasting impressions on each client. We like to say that there are three things that most certainly distinguish Serbia as an exceptional convention destination. First of all is its location. Serbia is close destination, easily accessible with no visa restriction for any European country including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey – vast network of direct flight connections brought by brand new airline company. If you combine that with compact meeting facilities package using variety of new international hotels to choose from, and great value for money you will certainly get, being one of the least expensive destinations in Europe, there is not doubt why Serbia is in Top 50 World meeting destination. In this time of crisis, everyone is looking for a new, convenient and undiscovered destination, and all of this three things Serbia do has to offer

Q: How important is the participation at the congress trade show Conventa for your destination?
Conventa Exhibition Show is pulling number of buyers, agencies, corporate clients and associations, which are interested specifically in this part of Europe for conducting business. Involvement in this trade show is important for us to get to know client with the destination and all of service providers, and present Serbia as a one of the main destination in this region. 

Miloš MILOVANOVIĆ, Serbia Convention Bureau
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