Interview by Nina Praprotnik


Q: On 1st March 2017, you have been appointed as the new General Manager of Holiday Inn Villach & Congress Centre Villach – what are your future goals and challenges?

There are a couple of goals, but you have to set priorities and keep on working on the constellation of Holiday Inn and Congress Center as one unity and represent it even more in the congress and event sector. Another goal is to persuade the locals to visit our bar DIVINO and the gourmet restaurant LAGANA more often. They should be proud of having such a house in Villach.

Q: What have been the keys to success of Congress Center Villach as a meeting & event destination?
The key to success are always the employees! Without motivated staff there won’t be any success.

Q: Best event in 2016?
We had a couple of big and noteworthy events in 2016 and we are really looking forward to the events in 2017. The best event of 2016 was Ringana Spring Academy with 1,000 participants.

Q: Why is Holiday Inn Villach & Congress Center Villach perfect for business guests?
It’s the combination of Living-Meeting-Relaxing-Enjoying all under one roof, that’s the moto of our house. The location at the river Drau directly located in the city centre, with a view of the mountains is also something very special and you wont’t easily find somewhere else.

Q: What are your advantages as the only combined Hotel and Congress Centre in Austria?
The advantage for our clients is that we are under one roof and they can get everything out of one hand, which means that they have only one contact-person regarding meeting-rooms, rooms for overnight stay as well as catering or technical issues.

Q: What trends do you think we will see in meetings and events in your city in 2017?
The demand of congresses and meetings is still growing and green events are getting more important for our clients.

Q: What are your plans for 2017, how will you try to be even more successful regarding meetings & events?
Our goal is to bring even more congresses and events to the city, as there still is potential, although we already had about 400 events with more than 110,000 visitors in 2016. It is really important for us to offer an excellent service to our clients. We are trying to give more to them and to fulfil their expectations of our main slogan, which is “… you get more”.

Q: What advantages does Villach have for meetings comparing the region?
You have lots of possibilities in this region because of the mountains and lakes, offering team building activities, sightseeing and much more. It’s also because of the geographical position bordering on Italy and Slovenia which you can easily reach within a few minutes by car. The cuisine here is excellent too, due to the Mediterranean influence.

Q: Where in Villach can someone best “feel” the vibe of the city?
It depends on the time of the year and the weather. You can “feel” Villach at different places. The best vibe of the city you will definitely get in the old town where the different cultures of Austria, Slovenia and Italy meet each other. Another place to be is our hotel-terrace directly at the river Drau with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains while enjoying the delicacies of our menu. If you are planning to visit Villach in summer, you should do that during the first week of August when our famous “Villacher Kirchtag” – the largest traditional event in Austria, takes place. We promise, it will be unforgettable.


Q: What makes you smile?
Motivated staff and satisfied customers.

Q: What is your best recipe for your off days?
A combination of sport and relaxation.

Q: What are the 3 things you cannot live without?
I definitely can’t live without my family, friends and I love to visit new places.

About Kerstin:

Kerstin Fritz was born on 2nd September 1986 in Villach. After working for two hotels in Tyrol, for Falkensteiner and 6 years as Sales & Marketing Manager at the Holiday Inn Villach she moved to Graz and was successfully running the Hotel Daniel as a Director for 1,5 years. Since 1st March 2017 she is back in her hometown as the new General Manager of Holiday Inn Villach.

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