1. TIRANA – THE TALE OF THE EAGLE
Despite the chaotic first impression, you can organise your event in Tirana without any problems and to the satisfaction of your congress participants. Albanians are in fact extremely proud, friendly, calm, excellent hosts, which outweighs any weaknesses in infrastructure. They like to help, are very sociable and stick to their words and promises, expecting the same in return. Tirana has enormous meetings potential, which could be improved with investment in hotel infrastructure. Due to their beautiful nature there are also untapped opportunities for incentive programmes, today marketed by only a few DMCs. For a faster breakthrough they will have to connect and establish a congress bureau.
2. VYSOKÉ TATRY – WARM YOUR HEART
The High Tatras are an extraordinary surprise and one of the undiscovered European incentive jewels. In the shadow of the much more notorious Zakopane range in neighbouring Poland, they offer at least as broad an incentive offer, which is nicely complemented by a very favourable financial package. As the main tourist resorts are close to mountain resorts, ski resorts and scenic walking trails, it is a totally perfect destination for more sports-inspired incentive groups. We recommend organising events in the spring and autumn months, when places aren’t flooded with the annual mass winter tourist flows. The prices in Slovakia are significantly lower than in central Europe and the destination is just a few hours’ drive by motorway from major Central European cities.
3. LJUBLJANA – EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2016
Based on its conference and accommodation infrastructure, Ljubljana belongs to the group of capitals suitable for medium-sized and smaller meetings (up to 2.500 participants). It is positioned side by side with the new EU member states and geographically in the region of the Western Balkans. Thus, according to congress stakeholders in Ljubljana the most competitive destinations are Zagreb, Belgrade, Prague and Budapest. Compared to the newer EU capitals and countries of South East Europe, Ljubljana is ranked in the second half. It is preceded by Budapest and Vilnius, and we should also highlight the rapid growth of Belgrade.
4. KOŠICE – A PHOENIX BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
If Bratislava is the capital of the country, then Kosice can be declared its creative centre, one that impresses with vibrant urban zones, positive diversity and an urban transformation of the city throughout layers of history. Košice seems pleasant for the accommodation and organisation of congresses and also seems a very tolerant city. A border location has greatly contributed to that, which has made residents more tolerant, but it is precisely this border diversity that defines the vitality and resistance of the city. The specific local identity gives the city its charm and soul, and it ranks it among one of the most promising Eastern European convention destinations.
5. MOSTAR – BRIDGING THE GAP
The city of sun, greenery and flowers with a Mediterranean climate is currently a sleeping congress destination that overwhelms visitors with its historical story. Mostar is a lot more than just the Old bridge and stereotypes – it has all the neccessary conditions to develop congress tourism, yet it has somehow been put in the background and overlooked as a tourist product. With more focused development, initiating a convention bureau and better connectivity with congress providers, Mostar could easily compete with Adriatic congress capitals like Sarajevo or in Dalmatia.
6. SCHLADMING – MEETINGS IN THE EMBRACE OF ALPINE BEAUTIES
Over the last decade tourism in Styria has undergone a swift development. Schladming is a big skiing centre, the scene of the best slalom races of the season as well as other internationally renowned sports competitions. Besides that it is now also an excellent congress venue and a place that will stay fondly in the memory of every guest. We can say without a doubt that the tourist development of Schladming is a success story and we are certain that that will also be the case in the future. Sporting events, on which they have built extensively, have contributed mostly to the success and with this event organisation the destination has gained a lot of experience that can now be transferred into the congress field.
7. ZADAR – A COOL MEETINGS DESTINATION
Conference organisers are always looking for new and different destinations. Zadar is the logical choice, as it has enormous potential of natural and cultural conditions. Moreover, it is a cool destination with a specific urban rhythm. Currently, the main drawback are congress facilities that only allow smaller events as well as congress infrastructure which is not yet built and in function. Once everything is in place, Zadar will certainly be an important congress player.
8. OHRID – BALKAN CONGRESS PEARL
One of the main Macedonian tourist centers is becoming increasingly more important as a meeting center. At first glance, it differs from competing regional destinations due to its reasonable prices. The difference is also in the structure of the offer which is primarily adapted to leisure tourism. Ohrid is, in summer, a mass tourist destination with all the challenges that that brings. Out of season it can be a very interesting meeting destination, if rapid development will be followed by the upgraded offer that congress guests expect. The first step is related to performance of providers and the establishment of a Convention Bureau.
9. KRANJSKA GORA – GOOD WILL IS THE BEST
The most important winter sports centre in Slovenia has among the Slovenian ski resorts the strongest brand, which is known worldwide mainly due to the Cup Vitranc. It has stayed n the company of places like Kitzbuhel, Cortina, Garmisch and Wengen for many years. In recent years, Kranjska Gora successfully defied the green winters and economic hardship of key hoteliers. Slowly and steadily it has also developed a summer tourist offer, which enables the development of congress tourism. Both seasons are now virtually in balance.
10. SUBOTICA – COLOURFUL CONGRESS VARIETY
Subotica has a soul. It is a city where it seems that time has stopped. The proud town centre merges almost imperceptibly into the surrounding melancholy plains. Economically and culturally Subotica is one of the most developed cities in Serbia. Congress guests will be impressed by the multicultural spirit and European charm, which is reflected in a large number of special venues in a small area. Well-developed albeit not connected is the offer of various incentive programmes. Subotica has a functioning Congress bureau, the hotel facilities are good and the culinary tradition is an extra plus. All of this represents an exciting congress package calling out for more penetrating international or at least regional marketing to exploit the full potential of the city.