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MEETING STAR 2020

Ever since 2010, the Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has been presenting fresh and interesting meeting destinations to international meeting planners. Each destination is evaluated based on 75 different criteria that enable a fair comparison of the destinations. Meeting organizers appreciate the expertise, value and practicality of this guide through congress destinations.

SO GOOD THAT WE COULDN’T IGNORE IT!

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M – MEETING DESTINATIONS
Destinations that can host up to 1,200 congress attendees

2020 M CATEGORY WINNERS

1. DUBROVNIK 4.38

2. SAALFELDEN 4.14

3. OPATIJA 4.13

4. PORTOROSE 4.11

4. SCHLADMING 4.11

5. BLED 4.09

6. ŠIBENIK 4.08

7. ROVINJ 4.07

8. KLAGENFURT 4.06

8. SPLIT 4.06

9. VILLACH 4.05

10. TIVAT 4.01

1. DUBROVNIK, CROATIA 4.38/5


Dubrovnik is the flagship of regional tourism and is commonly the first association of meetings organizers we meet daily. It is the closest in the region to renowned Mediterranean convention destinations Cannes and Monte Carlo, and it will be even closer after the completion of the convention center. So far the center is successfully replaced by modern and well-equipped centers at hotels such as Dubrovnik Palace, Excelsior, Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Importanne Resort, Dubrovnik President, Valamar Lacroma and Radisson Blue. Well-developed is the entire conference infrastructure including destination management and creative agency scene. The city is safe and one of the tourist icons of the Adriatic and justifiably the most painted tourist skyline with unprecedented experiential diversity for conference guests.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms4,272
The number of 4* and 5* hotels29
Destination population42,615
Banquet hall maximum capacity700
Largest hall in the city900 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,200

2. SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA 4.14/5


Often, things that are hidden are much more interesting. The same can be said about the tourist destination of Saalfelden Leogang. The destination swears by sustainability and strong connections between tourism, agriculture, forestry and trade. From what we have seen, they have been doing an excellent job. A lot of hotels have their own water source, the pools are heated with solar energy and smaller hotels have their own heating stations running on wood chips from the surrounding forests. Many destinations have a lot to learn and Saalfelden is a shining example in this field. Everything functions well, the food is local and the well-being of guests is excellently taken care of.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,500
The number of 4* and 5* hotels19
Destination population19,785
Banquet hall maximum capacity700
Largest hall in the city800 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity900
saalfelden_leogang_austria

3. OPATIJA, CROATIA  4.13/5


Opatija is without a doubt the ultimate meetings destination. Why? Because few destinations provide such a rich assortment of luxury accommodation in such a small area, whilst Opatija provides 33 hotels offering over 2700 rooms and more than 50 meeting and conference halls along the 3 km of the coastline. At the beginning and the end of the Opatija Riviera, there are two boutique hotels which contribute to the exclusivity of Opatija.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms2,100
The number of 4* and 5* hotels25
Destination population11,659
Banquet hall maximum capacity600
Largest hall in the city1,650 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity900
opatija_croatia

4. PORTOROSE, SLOVENIA 4.11/5


The historic laurels of the leading Adriatic congress destination are slowly starting to gather dust. Portorož is still in hard competition with Dubrovnik, Opatija and new Adriatic congress destinations that are developing all the time. A rich congress history, tradition and the existing infrastructure are a competitive advantage. The meetings industry is by no means a tree to sleep under and simply harvest its fruit of wealthy congress participants. Despite that, Portorož has proven resilient and adaptable many times in the course of history, so some innovativeness and marketing opportunities should ensure it has a bright future.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms4,500
The number of 4* and 5* hotels16
Destination population2,849
Banquet hall maximum capacity600
Largest hall in the city1,085 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,100
kempinski-palace-portoroz-pool-hotel-spa

4. SCHLADMING, AUSTRIA  4.11/5


Schladming is a big skiing centre, the scene of the best slalom races of the season as well as other internationally known sports competitions. Besides that, it is also an excellent congress venue and a place, which stays in fond memory of every guest. We can say without a doubt that the tourist development in Schladming is a success story and we are certain that will also be the case in the future. Contributing to the success were mostly sporting events, on which they have built extensively. With the event organisation, the destination has gained a lot of experience, which can now be transferred into the congress field.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms2,362
The number of 4* and 5* hotels60
Destination population6,716
Banquet hall maximum capacity800
Largest hall in the city1,400 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,200
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5. BLED, SLOVENIA 4.09/5


As a recognisable brand Bled stands out among other congress destinations in the region. It most closely resembles Dubrovnik, which caught up with the pre-war congress tempo by taking the right steps. Currently, the biggest disadvantage is the lack of a clear focus on quality rather than mass tourism. This is most clearly seen in the restaurant, nightlife and shopping offer. As a result, the current perception of quality is lower than with the largest competitors. In Bled the saying ‘Less is more’ is very true. The potential for the meetings industry is immense, it just needs to be harnessed in the right way.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms793
The number of 4* and 5* hotels12
Destination population7,894
Banquet hall maximum capacity400
Largest hall in the city500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity512

6. ŠIBENIK, CROATIA  4.08/5


Šibenik very rarely raises any association with the meeting industry. In the process of transition from an industrial city into a tourist destination, it has not yet asserted its image among competing cities. Despite this, it is a fact that it has excellent conditions and is somehow considered to be a hidden jewel of the Croatian congress offer. For ease of accessibility, it may be a suitable location for small association conferences as well as a variety of incentive programmes.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms2,676
The number of 4* and 5* hotels8
Destination population46,332
Banquet hall maximum capacity220
Largest hall in the city500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity600
Photo Credit: Šibenik Tourist Board

7. ROVINJ, CROATIA 4.07/5


If at the destination you have owners who have clear goals and who look at congress tourism strategically, then in a short time you can do a lot. It is possible to revitalize the old factory premises and build a superior conference hotel. Maistra in Rovinj has undoubtedly left its mark. Taking into consideration the geographical location of Rovinj as one of the closest Mediterranean congress destinations for Central and Western Europe, the future of this industry is guaranteed. Missing is only a convention bureau, which would know how to step out of corporate governance of the destination and would be able to serve as attorney of the meetings industry. Otherwise, forecasts of mayor Sponza that Rovinj will be more exclusive than Dubrovnik, can be realized.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,342
The number of 4* and 5* hotels6
Destination population14,294
Banquet hall maximum capacity800
Largest hall in the city1,600 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,000
rovinj_croatia

8. KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA  4.06/5


Klagenfurt is a likeable alpine congress destination with a rich cultural heritage and high experiential diversity. The key advantage is definitely fairytale-like well-maintained and pleasant environment, the quality offer that is above average in a regional sense, and professionalism of suppliers. Position at the crossroads of important routes is also an important factor in the competitiveness of this destination. The city is an important inter social and European transit region that is easily reachable thanks to modern highways and rail connections. Klagenfurt as the centre of Carinthia with its tidiness, safety and ratio between price and quality is one of the best convention destinations in the wider region. The city builds its meetings offer on sustainable development.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms560
The number of 4* and 5* hotels11
Destination population100,538
Banquet hall maximum capacity500
Largest hall in the city6,400 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,000

8. SPLIT, CROATIA  4.06/5


Among the Adriatic congress destinations Split has become serious competition to Dubrovnik in the last years. The main disadvantages of the destination are bad cooperation between the service providers, lack of air traffic connections to key markets and not enough destination marketing. If Split gets a real convention centre in the future, it could become one of the leading congress destinations in the Mediterranean. New and excellent hotel capacities, good road connections to Europe and wonderful surroundings, with islands offering numerous incentive programme opportunities, all bolster this proposition. Split is still one of the most unexploited congress destinations in the Mediterranean.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,762
The number of 4* and 5* hotels41
Destination population178,102
Banquet hall maximum capacity450
The largest hall in the city768 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity800
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9. VILLACH, AUSTRIA  4.05/5


Villach is the second-largest city of Carinthia and its tourist sights attract an enormous amount of visitors. Villach has also become established as a small Silicon Valley in the Alps, with an international character reflected in the town‘s infrastructure. The main reason for the meetings industry in this part of Austria is the numerous incentive programmes, all of which you can engage in a very clean environment. The most charming aspects are the Carinthian way of life, cultural diversity and a general sense of casualness. In our opinion, the main advantages are the size and the feeling of familiarity, along with a modern congress infrastructure. Locals also like to emphasise the border location, sat at the crossroads of three nations, which hasn‘t been totally picked up in a congress sense. Locals also like to emphasise the border location, sat at the crossroads of three nations, which hasn’t been totally picked up in a congress sense.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms517
The number of 4* and 5* hotels5
Destination population61,221
Banquet hall maximum capacity400
Largest hall in the city4,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,060

10. TIVAT, MONTENEGRO  4.01/5


Once a modest and ordinary town, Tivat went through a major remodelling of its marina and the surroundings and today it is a place where the world’s jet-set resides and rests in the summertime. Although a big portion of Tivat is modern and glamorous, you can find traces of history in here – Renaissance Summer House Buca in the centre of the city, Ostrvo Cvijeca with sacred monuments, Gornja Lastva, the old nucleus, the magnificent beach at Plavi Horizonti and the island Sv. Nikola. The spirit of old times lives through unique Olympics – the Bocarska Olympiad and Summer Fests.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms383
The number of 4* and 5* hotels14
Destination population14,031
Banquet hall maximum capacity500
Largest hall in the city2,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity560
tivat_montenegro
Photo Credit: Visit Montenegro

The M Meeting Destinations are destinations that can host up to 1,200 attendees. You can find every M Meeting Destinations with the help of our SEARCH ENGINE. It is tailored to the needs of meeting planners and their thought process. Find the destinations at the following link: https://kongres-magazine.eu/search-destinations/

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