1. What is your ultimate meetings goal at Kempinski Zografski for 2014?
Being the leading MICE hotel in Bulgaria our ultimate goal is to achieve the planned growth in the meeting segment of our budget and to increase the visibility of our product and destination on the international market. The strategy is in line with our Kempinski philosophy where we embrace the European art of luxurious hospitality and provide the best solutions to our clients.
2. What is the biggest challenge of producing a meeting with high profile and high expectations among guests in Sofia?
Founded 7000 years ago, today Sofia is developing as a modern city with easy access and incredible potential as a conference and meeting destination. The biggest challenge we face is the lack of knowledge and wrong perception about the destination. Most of the international buyers have low expectations about Bulgaria. However, after a visit all of them are extremely surprised by the high level of product and quality offered at a very attractive price in comparison with other cities in Central and SEE. I consider this competitiveness as one of the main USPs of the destination.
3. Is there increasing competition from other destinations in Bulgaria?
Sofia remains the MICE capital of Bulgaria with a comprehensive infrastructure of international branded hotels, excellent meeting facilities and convention centres. However, more and more destinations in Bulgaria are gaining importance and have great potential to develop MICE in combination with cultural, historical, eco and spa tourism. Preserved nature, picturesque scenery and UNESCO heritage are waiting to be discovered and put on the international tourist map. It is all about communication, knowledge and building of trust among the buyers. I would give as an example Bansko, the best ski resort in Bulgaria, nestled at the foot of the majestic Pirin mountain and the second hotel of the group – the Kempinski Grand Arena Bansko. The property, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is the best ski-in, ski-out hotel in the country and attracts with its state of the art meeting facilities, impeccable Kempinski service and remarkable group activities all kind of events throughout the whole year.
4. How important is CSR for Kempinski Zografski?
CSR is extremely important for Kempinski as a group and Kempinski Hotel Zografski Sofia supports numerous social responsibility initiatives at corporate, regional and local level. Our hotel is part of the worldwide initiative of BE foundation, contributing actively to the fight against infectious diseases. Apart from that we are a founder of a charity football tournament under the motto “Stop Tuberculosis”, donating money to clinics for lung diseases. By tradition we have every Christmas a wish tree initiative raising funds for different orphanages in Bulgaria. Furthermore our hotel supports culture and young talents with Kempinski Art Weeks and eco-friendly initiatives to protect the environment with Earth hour organised by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and “Green inspiration by Kempinski”.
5. Where do you see Kempinski Zografski in five years time?
I see Kempinski Hotel Zografski as a leading hotel and a trend setter among the best in CE and SEE. Last but not least I would use the motto of the international Coca Cola Leadership Conference which took place at our hotel this year -“The best is yet to come”.