What are Opatija’s biggest strengths as a meeting city? Has Opatija undiscovered potential? We spoke with Goran Pavlović, Convention & Incentive Bureau Manager at Opatija Tourism Office, about these and further topics.
1. Could you please describe Opatija in five words?
Architecture, climate, evergreen, historical flair, tradition
All this is well expressed in our official slogan “convention destination with history”!
2. What would be the first thing you would show every visitor coming to Opatija?
The Kvarner hotel with the historic Crystal Ballroom, directly on the sea and next to the Park Angiolina, and the Lungomare, our beautiful sea promenade. As Opatija is very compact, you can walk between all venues and hotels through the city parks and along the promenade by the blue Adriatic Sea.
3. What do you consider to be Opatija’s biggest strengths as a meeting city?
There are a few unique features to our city: a diversity of great and new conference venues in an environment that can all easily be covered by foot. The tradition of receiving tourists and having important meetings in Opatija. The historic venue “Crystal Ballroom” in Hotel Kvarner, the climate and the geographic position are all sprinkling a dash of grandeur to the place. Through our position in the Kvarner bay there is a special natural ventilation, where Tramontana wind comes down at night, so all guests can rest – even in hot times – very well and enjoy a freshness of the air and atmosphere. Also important are the green and healthy aspects of the city and the microclimate.
4. The MICE market is extremely competitive for destinations. Do you think Opatija has undiscovered potential?
This is a tough question. The way I see it is that Opatija has a bit of everything that is unique in other famous destinations: great seafood and gastronomy as in Barcelona, culture as in Vienna, great wines as in France, we have it all, in a convenient neighbourhood – and at great value.
Also the whole city is like one single convention centre, people can walk, the hotels are all very nice and in different styles and ambiences, but at the same level of standard and service. It really does not make a difference in what hotel you stay, they are all pleasant. So the conference or congress kind of “owns” the city and is fully integrated.
The health aspect is a strong one here. Opatija was declared as a winter health resort already in 1889 and saw at this occasion a meeting of Austrian baleologists. The first congress took place in 1908 already – it was the 4th International Congress of Thalasso-Therapy.
5. What are Opatija Convention & Incentive Bureau’s goals in 2016?
Our goals are to increase our international visibility, with a focus on international association meetings. We recently even won one congress against Vienna, the congress of the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses. I am also working on the role of our CVB in the implication of green policies and sustainable programs for events taking place in Opatija.
We at tmf dialogue are looking forward to help Goran and his destination partners to increase the international visibility! It is sure worth being on the map of congress and meeting planners!
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