TERME MARIBOR - Katja Gračnar

The company Terme Maribor d.o.o. is an important tourist service provider in Slovenia. Located, as its name implies, in Maribor, the second largest Slovenian city, Terme Maribor manage several hotels: Habakuk, Ibis Style, Mercure, Bellevue, UNI Youth Hostel, as well as catering service at the oldest operating restaurant in the city ­– “Pri treh ribnikih” Restaurant. We talked to Katja Gračnar, event manager for Terme Maribor, about the MICE segment of the company.

Q: Terme Maribor signed in 2017 a franchise agreement with AccorHotels. What has the agreement brought for Terme Maribor?

Well, we are proud to say that after a year of close collaboration with the ACCOR, our team feels tremendously satisfied with the results obtained. For Terme Maribor it was important to find a partner that provided an international distribution platform, with deep roots and knowledge in Europe which is the main market for Slovenia. It is a long-term agreement and we are sure that in the coming years, and with the expert hand of the ACCOR team, we will be able to achieve the ambitious objectives set for each of our main segments, such as the Events /MICE segment. We are convinced that the international visibility obtained will not only benefit our hotels, but also the city of Maribor.

Q: Terme Maribor has five hotels. What are their main distinctive characteristics?

Currently, Terme Maribor is the only company that can offer in Maribor a wide range of facilities both in the city and in the Pohorje area, which gives us the possibility of adapting to whatever the needs of our clients both leisure, sports or corporate. As in any large family, each member has their own personality, although our main common characteristic is our passion for service and hospitality. We offer a wide range of categories and facilities, from UNI Hostel, fully renovated in 2018, Ibis Style located in the heart of city, Mercure with 80 upscale rooms plus Congress Center, Hotel Bellevue located in Pohorje to our flagship product Hotel Habakuk with a wide range of services such as our Congress Center, Wellness Area and Sports facilities with a huge accommodation capacity and an excellent gastronomic offer.

Photo credit: Terme Maribor

Q: And which of their MICE infrastructure would you point out?

Undoubtedly this would be the Hotel Habakuk: 135 rooms, wellness area, sport facilities, restaurants and a Congress Center with 8 conference rooms on more than 800 square meters. However, we feel equally proud of the other meeting facilities that we provide at Mercure Hotel with its Congress Center, as well as at the Bellevue Hotel that provides room for those who require a more isolated environment.

Photo credit: Terme Maribor
Photo credit: Terme Maribor

Our team feels tremendously satisfied with the results obtained.

Q: How many and what kind of meetings and events were held in 2018 in Terme Maribor’s hotels?

Given our wide offer you will understand that fortunately the list of events that we have hosted is extensive. From small events, both corporate and private, sporting events, corporate, not forgetting particular events such as weddings. 2018 has been a good year for Terme Maribor and we are proud to have been chosen as the venue for the celebration of these events; we are aware of the responsibility this entails and for this reason we place special emphasis on the continuous training of our teams and improvement of our facilities.

Photo credit: Terme Maribor

Q: What is the plan and what is the forecast for 2019 in regard to MICE in Terme Maribor?

As I mentioned earlier, our commitment is continuous improvement. The event segment is a priority for Terme Maribor and we continue working to be able to offer all our current and potential clients excellent news that prove how our hotels are the perfect venue for the celebration of an event, whatever this may be.

Photo credit: Terme Maribor

Q: What kind of incentive programmes would you recommend to business guests when staying in the hotels?

A good deal of business travel is related to incentive travel.  Maribor, the capital of Slovenian Styria, is a hidden gem and an intriguing tourist destination which offers grand options for business guests. I personally think traditional incentives might be out of date, and what we have to do is to find customized and effective incentive programs for our guests.  Finding this answer is one of the top priorities for all “hospitality players” in Maribor in 2019.

Photo credit: Maribor-Pohorje Tourist Board / Domen Groegl

Q: What would you suggest as a perfect business gift from Maribor?

Definitely, a bottle of wine from the Old Vine House “Stara trta”. The Winery of the oldest vine in the world is a precious treasure trove that inspires – whether you are a fan or connoisseur, it is just the same!  The unique scenery of the Old Vine and the exceptional ambiance of its house fuse together for an unforgettable experience.

Q: You are the event manager in Terme Maribor. What do you like about your job the most?

I love coordinating every single detail to make sure each event is a complete success. I also find it fascinating how every event is different, it has its own personality.  But most of all, my biggest satisfaction comes when a guest comes after an event to me fully satisfied for a perfect and hassle-free event.

Q: What are you most proud of in business?

The knowledge I have gained in this business enabled me to be more self-confident at what I do. Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it.