THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
Q: The readers of Kongres magazine chose you as one of the most influential people in the South East European Meetings industry. What does this recognition mean to you?
I am very proud of this recognition, since I am a great supporter of the MICE industry and I believe this segment can evolve even more. MICE guests in general are also becoming return guests as leisure travellers and there is an importance of their higher expenditures we should pay attention even closely. A MICE traveller usually spends on more than the leisure guest.
In previous years the hotel I manage was not very developed in the MICE industry and in that reason the purpose of building new business capacities. That is why for me, to be recognised in this segment shows that you can still make changes, while promoting your destination. It is a big pleasure and very rewarding when your participation is recognized and valued. What I strive for, are positive changes in the future.
Q: If you look back at the 2016, what would you say were your major achievements?
I could say that we managed to increase our visibility and that hotel Cubo has become, despite its size, a business meeting point in Ljubljana, for which we have strived a very long time. This year we opened a summer al fresco lounge and organised a few events and gatherings. I believe this could be an extension of an incentive product and a great meeting point where business and leisure meet. I am very fortunate that I am working with staff that shares the same vision. On the other hand I have support of owners and investors that have trust in the Cubo vision and recognise our effort to evolve our product in the best possible direction.
In the next few weeks, we will open our two new meeting halls. The first one is structured as a classical board meeting room. In the second space, we have focused on the concept of a modern organisation of events, where rooms can be configured for any type of function and allows the clients not only to participate at the event, but also to be fully interacted. From the beginning our wish was not to create another classical and inefficient meeting room but to create a meeting space that raises the bar for every event.
Overall looking on 2016, all of the achievements were great and the plan for 2017 is to set them even higher.
Q: 3. 2017 – New Year, new plans, new business objectives?
I strongly believe that the CUBO brand will evolve even more in the future with our new product CUBO village, which is made up of 4 villas with a personal touch in the interior and the exterior. Located close to the most modern-equipped private golf course in Slovenia this product will be offering high-end sporting and leisure opportunities. Another great project is to reopen a refurbished hotel Kanin in Bovec and with its new CUBO name add a new addition to a Slovenian leisure and MICE segment. This way in the upcoming year we will strive to expand the CUBO group and increase its presence. I will also focus on my new function as a Chairman of the Expert Council at convention Bureau, for which I have been selected recently by the The Slovenian Convention Bureau and which is also one of my recognitions this year.
Q: Which event are you looking forward to attend next year and why?
Every year hotel Cubo participates and is involved in Conventa. We are a proud supporter of this boutique exchange that brings various people from meeting and tourism industry to our destination. I can say that I am also really looking forward to Crossover event that has left such a positive impression this year. Both events show that we are capable to organise a quality events that we can proudly present to foreign visitors and industry influencers.
ILTM is another event that I truly believe in, a great event, where luxury tourism is being showcased. This is a segment that I believe we also need to focus on Slovenia in becoming recognised and valued world tourism and congress destination. In the future I would like to see that in Slovenia people would see that as a destination we can offer so much more, especially because of our sustainable tourism and our natural resources that represent Slovenia as a 5 star destination. Products as Grad Otočec, Kempinski and upcoming properties like Cubo Village, Intercontinental are the reasons why we can look forward to evens like ILTM, where luxury is being showcased and sold.
Q: Which trends do you believe will shape the meetings industry in 2017?
As is it already happening, safety and security is essential for the future travellers. Slovenia was voted many times as one of the safest places to travel. Trends that will be shaping meeting industry are evolving in new types of events. Single presenter meetings and paper based note taking will be surpassed with the modern meeting rooms of today. With new technology available for meeting rooms and new set ups that allow cooperation and collaboration there are numerous options to create a more successful events. Participants will better result from the sharing of experiences and from panels where attendants will interact with speakers. Above all this, future trends in food and beverage will be developing. Classical and boring coffee breaks will have to surpass for innovative ones, that will be prepared with local ingredients and will based on ecological and green origin.
Q: What is your wish for 2017?
Within the tourism industry my wish is that Slovenia’s tourist season will be even better. However not only in the high season tourist months, but also to evolve with new products in off-season. For our hotel I am looking forward to a renovated lobby. Overall my wish is that people in our industry start to connect and share information even more and realize that we can all benefit if we work as a team in promoting not only each our own venues and destinations, but Slovenia as a world class boutique destination in general. We should be aware of our own potential and potential of our destination and not to get caught up in smallness of our country. . For myself personally, I will strive to win another race in horseback jumping, one of my passions.