mtlg_s_destinations

MEETING STAR 2022/2023

A decade ago, at Toleranca Marketing agency, we developed a system of evaluating congress destinations with the help of an original matrix dubbed the “MEETING EXPERIENCE INDEX” or simply MTLG – MEETOLOGUE. Since the inception of evaluating destinations, we have been diligently using the reference system to present a realistic offer of congress destinations through time. Up to now, 125 destinations have been evaluated, including every important congress destination of the South East and New Europe region.

The system is a systematic, structured and analytical process, encompassing numerous factors labelled as important by event organisers. We dare say that our evaluation is the most comprehensive and complex destination grading system. The evaluation is not based solely on the number of congress events taking place at a destination but also delves into analysis holistically.

WHAT IS NEW EUROPE?

The answer to this question is something of an unsolved conundrum. A clear definition of New Europe doesn’t exist, the most general definition being that these are the countries of Eastern Europe that were once behind the Iron Curtain. Technically, this means 24 countries of Eastern Europe, adding Greece and Turkey to them. In our Editorial, we include the fresh, energetic and lesser-known European destinations in New Europe.

S – MEETING DESTINATIONS
Destinations that can host up to 500 congress attendees

2022 S CATEGORY WINNERS

1. BOHINJ 4.06

2. KRANJ 4.03

2. KRANJSKA GORA 4.03

3. HVAR 4.02

3. MALI LOŠINJ 4.02

4. GORIŠKA BRDA 4.01

4. ROGAŠKA SLATINA 4.01

5. PODČETRTEK 4.00

5. SOČA VALLEY 4.00

6. IZOLA 3.98

6. VIPAVA VALLEY 3.98

7. NASSFELD 3.96

7. NOVA GORICA 3.96

7. VARAŽDIN 3.96

8. KARLOVAC 3.95

8. BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM 3.95

9. BREŽICE/ČATEŽ 3.94

10. LAŠKO 3.92

10. PTUJ 3.92

1. BOHINJ, SLOVENIA 4.06/5


The majority of congress guests will be sworn lovers of nature and its aesthetic value. Bohinj is a place that is created for sustainable conference programmes and for active incentive experiences. It is a place where without any hesitation you can drink water from the public water supply and from its clean streams. Even the basic network of thematic paths offers ideas for authentic congress programmes. In Slovenia, the beauty of Bohinj can only be matched by its neighbours across the peaks in the Soča Valley, or in Kranjska Gora.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms150
The number of 4* and 5* hotels4
Destination population5,227
Banquet hall maximum capacity112
The largest hall in the city220 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity130
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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bohinj_slovenia
Photo Credit: Bohinj Tourism

2. KRANJ, SLOVENIA  4.03/5


For thousands of years, the town of Kranj has enjoyed its strategic position. Located between two rivers on a conglomerate rock beneath the Alps, it has always been a lively centre where diverse ethnic groups meet. That is why Kranj is today still the capital of the Gorenjska region and the starting point for discovering all of it. With its alpine scenery that includes two-thousand-metre mountains, Kranj is the capital of the Slovenian Alps.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms439
The number of 4* and 5* hotels6
Destination population37,941
Banquet hall maximum capacity260
The largest hall in the city558 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity550
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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Photo Credit: Visit Kranj

2. KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA  4.03/5


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. 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. With the latest changes in the field of hospitality, it will surely strengthen its position as an important centre for the implementation of incentive programmes and small conferences. Due to the recognition of the ski jumps in Planica and Vitranc Cup it has a high priority over other rivals in the region. Kranjska Gora is an important boutique congress destination for quality mid-size corporate events with up to 350 participants.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms858
The number of 4* and 5* hotels8
Destination population1,452
Banquet hall maximum capacity300
The largest hall in the city1,200 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity360
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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kranjska_gora
Photo Credit: Visit Kranjska Gora

3. HVAR, CROATIA 4.02/5


None of the more than 1,000 Croatian islands has such karma and recognition as Hvar. Definitely, a “must” Croatian destination, right behind Dubrovnik. Distance from the mainland gives it a touch of boutique smallness. On the beauty of the island, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, there is no point in wasting words, since there is no shortage of various urban legends and superlatives. Among other things, it used to be called Austrian Madeira. In Hvar, the urban has been coexisting with the rural for centuries.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,500
The number of 4* and 5* hotels10
Destination population11,103
Banquet hall maximum capacity220
The largest hall in the city370 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity370
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event21 Mbps
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hvar_croatia
Photo Credit: Hvar Tourist Board

3. MALI LOŠINJ, CROATIA 4.02/5


Lošinj and Cres are the only Adriatic islands that successfully deal with sustainable tourism and are amongst the more eco-friendly islands of Kvarner. They differ from the more famous Dalmatian isles, with their nature preservation, systematic sustainable development and cultural heritage. All these activities are well managed and present a huge opportunity for the sustainable meetings industry in harmony with the capabilities of the islands. The key challenge is the invisibility on the meetings industry radar, lacking the recognisable incentive brands to build high-quality boutique and intimate stories. If local suppliers can develop from these points, they will be able to benefit from the current trends in the industry. I am certain their first clients will be the existing loyal guests of Cres and Lošinj.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,432
The number of 4* and 5* hotels8
Destination population8,116
Banquet hall maximum capacity182
The largest hall in the city390 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity398
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event21 Mbps
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losinj_croatia
Photo Credit: Visit Lošinj

4. GORIŠKA BRDA, SLOVENIA  4.01/5


A number of the features of Brda make it special and unique in the wider area. In the first place is its openness to the sea, creating a pleasant Mediterranean climate, followed up by its natural beauty with rich cultural heritage and eco-preserved countryside with exceptional culinary and wine offer, unrivalled in the region. A panorama of hills with a cluster of agglomerations and subdivided farmland and countless terraced vineyards is certainly one of the most beautiful Italian-Slovenian landscape-aesthetic experiences. In the field of tourism-convention offer, Brda is perhaps the future formula of tourism development: “less is more”. The convention fate of Brda and Collio is in cooperation and joint promotion.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms88
The number of 4* and 5* hotels5
Destination population5,757
Banquet hall maximum capacity130
The largest hall in the city330 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity200
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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goriska_brda
Photo Credit: Slovenian Tourist Board

4. ROGAŠKA SLATINA, SLOVENIA  4.01/5


It would be hard to find a more traditional health resort in Slovenia. Most other health resorts, including the neighbouring Podčetrtek, cannot boast such a tradition that inspires confidence. In a few years, the place has radically changed its appearance and has excellent congress infrastructure. However, something remains missing – more convention visitors, who were once coming en masse to these places. Rogaška needs congress tourism, as is written into its DNA. It seems that it is currently defying modern times, mainly thanks to the proactive individual hoteliers. To regain a top spot more connectivity will be required, and better joint promotion and all of this reflected through the establishment of a Convention Bureau.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms820
The number of 4* and 5* hotels8
Destination population6,856
Banquet hall maximum capacity180
The largest hall in the city350 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity389
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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rogaska_slatina
Photo Credit: Visit Rogaška Slatina

5. PODČETRTEK, SLOVENIA  4.00/5


The smallest place in our analysis is big in its offer and an example to all of us involved with tourism. Once a remote and poor community, in the 60-ties of the last century focused on tourism. Its epicentre is a thermal spring, a success story created around it. At every step the locals you meet, be it a wine grower, a caterer or a priest will let it be known that you are welcome. There are few places where tourism is the only driving force of the economy. Because in these places the industry has never developed, today this can be considered as one of their advantages. Podčetrtek has great potential in the field of congress tourism. It is an authentic and in many ways sustainable congress experience.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms250
The number of 4* and 5* hotels2
Destination population3,224
Banquet hall maximum capacity150
The largest hall in the city3,570  m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity350
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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podcetrtek_slovenia
Photo Credit: Visit Podčetrtek

5. SOČA VALLEY, SLOVENIA  4.00/5


In the narrow micro-region, the Soča Valley is currently not facing increased competition. On the Italian side in Friuli Venezia Giulia, incentive tourism is underdeveloped and the development of the product in Brda and Nova Gorica is also at the beginning stages. More serious competition is in Istria and neighbouring Carinthia, as well as within the wider Slovenian Julian Alps. The main advantage of the destination is a developed incentive product, gastronomy and preserved natural and cultural heritage, which is unequalled.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms155
The number of 4* and 5* hotels4
Destination population16,357
Banquet hall maximum capacity100
The largest hall in the city300 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity425
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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soca_valley
Photo Credit: Visit Soča Valley

6. IZOLA, SLOVENIA  3.98/5


Izola promises a wide range of unforgettable experiences throughout the year. The beautiful villages of the Istrian countryside invite you to take a stroll, offering inviting views, numerous hiking and biking trails, and excellent cuisine. Not only does the sea offer fun in the summer, but it is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts in the autumn and spring. In addition to its natural and marine beauty, Izola also hides cultural treasures, making it a great choice for event organisers of boutique events.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms725
The number of 4* and 5* hotels5
Destination population11,566
Banquet hall maximum capacity110
The largest hall in the city214 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity230
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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Photo Credit: Visit Izola

6. VIPAVA VALLEY, SLOVENIA  3.98/5


This until recently virtually unknown Slovenian destination is gradually being discovered as a hidden tourism gem, and social media is abuzz with rave reviews. The media too has picked up on the hype about the Vipava Valley. Much has been written about the exquisite local wines and the fine gourmet offering, but nothing beats personal accounts and travel experiences. In the Vipava Valley, these are always stellar. Michelin star-studded restaurants and even down-to-earth agritourism farms will serve much more than just tasty food. One of the most exciting discoveries in the Vipava Valley is the abundance of opportunities for exploring natural and cultural highlights, pursuing outdoor activities and hanging out with the locals.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms340
The number of 4* and 5* hotels3
Destination population71,944
Banquet hall maximum capacity180
The largest hall in the city300 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity260
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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nova_gorica
Photo Credit: Visit Vipava Valley

7. NASSFELD HERMAGOR, AUSTRIA 3.96/5


In the last couple of years, the tourist offer of Nassfeld has seen some big investments. More than 26 million euros have been put into the Nassfeld ski resort (together with Pressegger See) in the last two years. The four valleys on the Austro-Italian border offer 110 kilometres of ski slopes, with 30 modern ski lifts ensuring smooth connections between them. Nassfeld is also famous for its high number of sunshine hours, as the protective effect of the Hohe Tauern mountain range blesses the town with the most sun in the region. This means that there are plenty of options for incentive and team-building programmes in nature throughout the year. Natural conditions and high quality of hotel accommodation position Nassfeld among the most attractive incentive destinations in Central Europe.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms500
The number of 4* and 5* hotels25
Destination population18,435
Banquet hall maximum capacity190
The largest hall in the city340 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity250
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event25 Mbps
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Photo Credit: Visit Nassfeld

7. NOVA GORICA, SLOVENIA  3.96/5


The two locations are the heart of the sunny and verdant Goriška plane. Due to its interesting position between the Alps and the Mediterranean, and the junction between the Roman and Slavic, it forms a historically attractive space with high experiential value and preserved nature as much as a cultural landscape. In the transport sense, it is a very easily accessible region with a high quality of living and excellent infrastructure. Gorica has many good restaurants and will delight lovers of gastronomy, entertainment and gaming. The hospitality of the locals and the competitiveness of the destination is placing the region on top of young, fresh and undiscovered convention destinations.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms340
The number of 4* and 5* hotels3
Destination population13,031
Banquet hall maximum capacity180
The largest hall in the city300 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity280
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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nova_gorica
Photo Credit: Visit Vipava Valley

7. VARAŽDIN, CROATIA  3.96/5


The city lies 81 km north of Zagreb, Croatia, and only 40 km from Ptuj, Slovenia. Varaždin is well connected as it lies right next to an important traffic route on the way from the port of Rijeka to Budapest. A city of approximately 47,000 inhabitants is friendly from a traffic point of view. You can easily reach all the city’s attractions on foot, and this makes it especially pleasant. Namely, between 1767 and 1776, the city was the capital of Croatia, and many palaces and buildings were built at that time, which still makes an impression on us today. The many stories told by the buildings contribute to the interest and the symbols of angels, which can be found on many buildings, add charm to the city.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms250
The number of 4* and 5* hotels15
Destination population46,946
Banquet hall maximum capacity150
The largest hall in the city300 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity400
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event24 Mbps
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varazdin_croatia
Photo Credit: Visit Varaždin

8. KARLOVAC, CROATIA 3.95/5


Karlovac is a city built and thought out taking full advantage of its surroundings: In green valleys of four rivers, beneath the Dubovac old town, filled with hundred-year-old parks and promenades, bicycling routes, deeply rooted in traditions of culture, sports, trades and commerce. Inevitably, with such parameters, Karlovac is a European formula for pleasant living and business investments. Karlovac is unique in its business and development possibilities. Situated at the crossroads of the most important Croatian and European highways and in extreme vicinity to the two bordering countries – Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Karlovac holds great potential. Business zones have been developed on the outskirts of the city, leaving the city centre conserved for a whole array of tourism and service industries, housing, sports and recreational development possibilities.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms210
The number of 4* and 5* hotels6
Destination population55,705
Banquet hall maximum capacity200
The largest hall in the city400 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity320
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event24 Mbps
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karlovac_croatia
Photo Credit: Visit Karlovac

8. BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, AUSTRIA  3.95/5


Bad Kleinkirchheim is known across the world for its skiing heritage, as the town is a long-time host of women’s world-cup ski races. Some might even recognize it for its thermal resort built in the 17th century. Less known is the fact that Bad Kleinkirchheim is an excellent incentive destination sprouting with a diverse and exciting offer, which spreads across both the winter and summer seasons. There’s also no shortage of great accommodations. The incentive programmes range from active sports activities to historical and culinary experiences. A native of the region is also the legendary Franz Klammer with whom you can even go skiing on an exciting winter incentive. What separates the town from the regional competition is a top-notch culinary offer, developed in a different way in every hotel. All of this makes Bad Kleinkirchheim suitable for more demanding incentive groups.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms600
The number of 4* and 5* hotels8
Destination population1,687
Banquet hall maximum capacity150
The largest hall in the city280 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity270
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event25 Mbps
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Photo Credit: Bad Kleinkirchheim

9. BREŽICE/ČATEŽ, SLOVENIA 3.94/5


Another convention destination of Slovenia, which according to the capacity, the integrity of the offer and convenience is often overlooked. Lower Sava valley is mainly thanks to the proactive Terme Čatež a very competitive convention destination. Improvement is needed, however, especially in its image, as at first one does not think of it in terms of congress tourism.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms100
The number of 4* and 5* hotels4
Destination population24,520
Banquet hall maximum capacity1050
The largest hall in the city1050 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity331
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event41 Mbps
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brezice_catez
Photo Credit: Discover Brežice

10. LAŠKO, SLOVENIA 3.92/5


Laško is first and foremost a spa destination because the main motive for going there is the two spa and thermal centres. In the future, it will remain so. In the past five years, however, much has been done in developing congress tourism and enriching the offer and it is today surprising how much Laško can offer to congress guests beyond its traditional tasty beer. Everything from one of the best Slovenian cuisines to an exceptional cultural and historical heritage together with the possibility of organising green meetings. In making this breakthrough Laško has very quickly become much more competitive with the more established meeting industry destinations.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms390
The number of 4* and 5* hotels4
Destination population3,416
Banquet hall maximum capacity280
The largest hall in the city538 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity490
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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lasko_slovenia
Photo Credit: Visit Laško

10. PTUJ, SLOVENIA 3.92/5


Ptuj is located in the northeast of Slovenia, 30 km from Maribor and 140 km from Ljubljana. Ptuj is the oldest Slovenian town and with the oldest wine cellar in Slovenia, while Terme Ptuj is one of the youngest Slovenian spas. Despite this, doctors attribute beneficial effects in the treatment of rheumatism to their thermal waters. A well-preserved castle with the old town centre and a wide riverbed of the river Drava give the seal of the city to Ptuj.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms210
The number of 4* and 5* hotels5
Destination population17,972
Banquet hall maximum capacity250
The largest hall in the city418 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity380
Number of studios for digital and hybrid eventsNA
Average internet speed when organising an event56 Mbps
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ptuj_slovenia
Photo Credit: Visit Ptuj

The S Meeting Destinations are destinations that can host up to 500 attendees. You can find every S Meeting Destination with the help of our SEARCH ENGINE. It is tailored to the needs of meeting planners and their thought processes. Find the destinations at the following link: https://kongres-magazine.eu/search-destinations/.

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