PRESS RELEASE, October 8th 2021
Cooperation and exchange of experiences at the local, national and international level is the key for creating sustainable tourism – confirmed by the distinguished speakers at the International Conference TOURISM 365.
The International Conference TOURISM 365, about year-round tourism, held on Friday, October 8, 2021 at Terme Tuhelj, brought together top international tourism politicians and tourism business leaders to discuss sustainable business and the new future of tourism. During three sections linking tourism to politics, business and life, the conference presented strategies and plans for post-Covid tourism in several EU and world countries with excellent discussions by top experts bringing successful examples and practices.
The conference TOURISM 365, Ivana Kolar’s project for five years now is promoting importance of development of year-round tourism and creation of innovative products to attract guests throughout the year. The conference brought together eminent experts from EU and the World and five EU tourism ministers (Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Germany, UAE and Croatia).
The conference hosted the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša in a panel that emphasized the importance of tourism for the economy, as well as mutual cooperation between the two countries and in the Central and East Europe.
The conference was opened by Ivana Kolar, the organiser, Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Saša Muminović, President of SLO CRO Business Club, Željko Kolar, Krapina-Zagorje County Prefect and Dragan Kovačević, Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy.
On that occasion, Ivana Kolar pointed out: “The goal and purpose of this conference, from the very beginning, is to encourage the development of year-round and creative tourism and to share knowledge and best practice – at the micro level like this conference, at the local level with the aim of developing destinations and at the national and interstate level to share specific knowledge, experiences, best practices and discover where we can be better together. All of this is needed at one place so that we can seriously develop new products and business trough the whole year. The Covid crisis showed us easily the habits and expectations of tourists can be changed and how important it is to continuously strive to grow, strengthen quality and develop different motives for attracting guests. ”
The Ministerial Forum brought together five EU Ministers of Tourism – Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Economy and Technology Development of the Republic of Slovenia Zdravko Počivalšek, State Secretary for Tourism of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Kingdom of Spain Fernando Valdés Verelst, Minister of Tourism of Republic of Italy Massimo Garavaglia, and the Minister of Economic Strategy and Regulation of the Republic of Hungary László György.
The Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac, presented new opportunities for the development of tourism in Croatia after a successful season: “It was my pleasure to join the TOURISM 365 conference again this year. Our strategic goal is to position Croatia as a sustainable tourist destination, which, among other things, means encouraging year-round tourism. With even stronger promotion of Croatia on the international market, it is necessary to develop quality and indigenous tourist offer, as well as to use better natural resources, rich cultural heritage and gastronomic and oenological offer. I am glad that this conference is being held in Terme Tuhelj, a place that, with its development and projects, best testifies to the kind of tourism we strive for. “
The Minister of the Economy and Technology Development of the Republic of Slovenia, Zdravko Počivalšek, also addressed the guests: “European tourism must become more resilient to possible health, safety and similar crises in the future. The focus on sustainability is crucial if Europe is to remain at the top of global tourism destinations. Tourism of the future is focused on individual and boutique tourism. Slovenian tourism has significant advantages because before the pandemic we committed to all the above elements – we turned our vision into the slogan Green. Active. Healthy.”
The Minister of Economic Strategy and Regulation of the Republic of Hungary, László György, pointed out: “The Hungarian government considers tourism to be a strategic sector and pays special attention to its development. The change in demand has also led to a targeted development of touristic offer, with more and better attractions and accommodation. The Hungarian travel agency is working to attract more guests and the tools of the renewed crisis-resistant tourism development strategy have a key role to play in supporting recovery in a data-driven way.”
Prof. Alessandra Priante, Director for Europe at UNWTO, presented the Perspectives of European Tourism and emphasized: “Sustainability, responsibility and innovation must be the driving forces for a responsible recovery of the tourism sector after the crisis caused by COVID-19. The global pandemic has caused unprecedented socio-economic consequences and increased awareness of the role that sustainability should play in daily life and economic activities. It comes in many forms, so we need to ensure that our actions affect all aspects of it – economic, social and environmental. “
The second part, dedicated to tourism and business, was opened by Patrick Torrent, Executive Director of the Catalan Tourist Board and President of NECSTouR European Association for Destination Development and Sustainable Tourism. He presented concrete ideas for developing year-round and creative tourism based on green sustainable business: “Sustainability is the issue of responsibility, respect for our destinations, community, environment, cultural and natural heritage, businesses, professionals, citizens. Let us take the lessons learned from this pandemic and join forces to accelerate recovery with the transformation of our tourism ecosystem to ensure the creation of better places to live and better places to visit.”
Martina Srnec, Director of Promotion at National Croatian Tourist Board, Ivana Budin Arhanić, Vice President at Valamar Riviera, and Kristian Šustar, Director of Development at Uniline TA, discussed the importance of creating the new tourism future.
Healing Forrests` project director Jan Schmidt, Secretary General at European SPA Association Csilla Mezösi, CEO at HTI Partner Leila Krešić-Jurić and Director at Dubai Health Authority Mohamed Al Mheiri discussed health tourism as the most promising part of tourism and opportunity for the development of sustainable tourism.
Mohamed Al Mheiri, director at Dubai Health Authority emphasized: “We see positive trends in health tourism in Dubai, it presents a huge potential for economic growth. The basis of the strategy of health tourism is sustainable and long-term, the government is committed to the growth of Health Tourism along with the private sector – it will continue to be a preferred destination for health tourism, driven by a positive regulatory environment for healthcare and an attractive tourism proposition. The adaptation of advanced innovation in healthcare and simplified licensing procedures will attract more highly qualified medical professionals.”
In the last part of the conference, tourism entrepreneurs living tourism in the field Jelena Holenko Pirc, owner of the travel agency Lynx & Fox, Krešimir Dvorski, owner of Next Bike and City.Dash, Matko Marohnić consultant, Horwath HTL and Damjana Domanovac, director of the international tourism fair PLACE2GO, encouraged participants to review the comfort zone of summer tourism and showed the potential for year-round tourism in Croatia.
“Apart from its strong marketing role in attracting modern tourists who are environmentally aware and in search of an authentic experience, the green transition is closely connected with the way of life, culture and tradition of the local population,” said Dragan Kovacevic, Vice president at Croatian Chamber of Economy.
The Conference TOURISM 365 is an author’s project of Ivana Kolar, CEO at Julius Rose, which took place under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Chamber of Economy and Krapina-Zagorje County and with the support of Terme Tuhelj, SLO CRO Business Club and Business Club Zagorje.
More information is available at the website https://www.turizam365.com, also photos of the event and link to the conference video.
Photos taken by Samir Ceric Kovacevic