Panelists

Maja Pak

Managing Director of Slovenian Tourist Board

Maja Pak holds a M.Sc. Degree and majored in entrepreneurship at the University of Ljubljana. After a few years of managing the Ljubljana Representative Office of Rogaška Spa, she joined the founding team of the new promotion agency for Slovenia as a tourist destination in 1996.
Her over 20-year work for STB has enabled her to not only witness, but to lead the transformation of Slovenia from a nice country in the heart of Europe to the world’s first green destination and a leader in sustainability in tourism. Her vision is clear and has gained unanimous support among stakeholders: Slovenia is a green boutique destination for 5-star experiences. She is dedicated to run the DNA of the I feel Slovenia brand through every act of communication, and to encourage the development of the products that would deliver the promise of the brand.

maja.pak@slovenia.info

Kristjan Staničić

Director of the Croatian Tourist Board’s Head office

Kristjan Staničić was born on October 1, 1973 in Kopar. He graduated at Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija. He also completed a one-year study at the Diplomatic Academy in Zagreb and earned his master’s degree at the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management in Opatija. He started his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he worked from 1996 to 2001. He worked also at the Croatian Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Staničić has reach experience in the tourist sector as well.

Namely, he worked as Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales of Hotel Novi and after that he was a member of the Management Board of that company. He was President of the Board of Directors of Liburnia Riviera Hotel, President of the Board of the Crikvenica Hotel Company Jadran, as Executive Director of Sales and Marketing and then President of the Management Board of Hotel Bernardin in Portorož, Slovenia. On July 5, 2017 he was appointed Director of the Croatian Tourist Board’s Head office by the Tourist Council of Croatian Tourist Board.

ured.direktora@htz.hr

Ivana Kolar

Director, Julius Rose d.o.o.

Director in Julius Rose, deals with consulting and project management in tourism and development of new value. For many years she was director of Terme Tuhelj, where she led business operations and development, including management of large investment projects and transformation of the facility into the largest continental resort 4 * in Croatia offering modern thermal, wellness and congress products and services.Today, she is engaged in the development of Terme Tuhelj as a Management Advisor. She is the organizer of the conference “Croatian Tourism 365?” and actively promotes the importance of continuous development and quality of business, and advocates the development of year-round tourism and tourism on the continent. She actively participates in numerous organizations and associations on development and promotion of tourism and the economy. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, and was awarded in 2011 by CROMA as the “Manager of the Year”.

ivana.kolar@julius-rose.hr

Miha Kovačić

Co-Founder, Conventa

Miha Kovacic has over 20 years of working experience in the travel industry. Tourism is part of the family being already the fourth generation working in tourism. Started with Kompas Tour Operator but soon got infected by the meetings industry. Continued with Kompas, the Destination Management Company and Professional Conference Organiser, later joined Grand Hotel Union, largest convention hotel in Ljubljana. Current position is CEO of the Slovenian Convention Bureau. Miha Kovacic is also the organiser of Conventa, the meetings and incentive travel trade show of »New Europe«. First Conventa was organised in 2009 and in January 2021 there will be the 13th edition.

miha.kovacic@slovenia-convention.com

Gorazd Čad

Co-Founder, Conventa

A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency TOLERANCA MARKETING. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions and in cooperation with foreign and domestic scientists, doctors and institutions preparing common congress projects.

He is a consultant for the successful marketing of congress centres and destinations as well as communications for congress and business events. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor- in-chief of the meetings industry magazine KONGRES MAGAZINE.

gorazd.cad@toleranca.eu

Igor Kovačević

CEO, Convention Bureau within National Tourism Organisation of Serbia

Igor Kovačević for more then 12 years is active in proactive selling and destination management in the field of international events of associations and corporations. He is a CEO of the Convention Bureau within National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, and at the same time is very active in academic field as the Assistant Professors at the Faculty of Economics University of Belgrade. He is also Deputy Chair of the ICCA Central European Chapter.

 

ikovacevic@serbia.travel

Janez Kopač Lebar

Project and event Manager, MPG plus

Janez Kopač Lebar is experienced project and event manager at MPG marketing agency. He is specialized for creating unique conference experiences and among other projects, for the last 7 years, he is a project lead of Microsoft NT conference – the biggest IT & business conference in Slovenia. One of his latest successful challenges was creating a virtual version of NT Conference – NT Remote.

j.lebar@mpgplus.si

Josipa Terzić - Rezić

Owner, Apriori BH

Josipa Terzić – Rezić, owner of Apriori BH – Agency for Professional Development, Event Management and Communications. For the last 12 years, she has organized and planned +150 business events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. She initiated and conducted professional conferences APRIORI TOURISM and APRIORI EU PROJECTS where she gathered the best lecturers from the region with over 150 participants per conference. Experience in running a private company has honed her skills in planning business events in BH and the regional market.

josipa@apriori.ba

Stjepan Primorac

President, Association for Tourism at the Chamber of Commerce of the FBH

Stjepan Primorac is the director of the Bigeste Hotel in Ljubuški, the president of the Tourism Cluster of Herzegovina and the president of the Association for Tourism at the Chamber of Commerce of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has been working in the tourism sector for two decades and is a person who understands all the advantages and opportunities for the development of tourism in Herzegovina.

stjepan.primorac@hotelbigeste.ba

Mili Bijavica

CEO, Fortuna Tours

Mili Bijavica, owner and director of Fortuna Tours d.o.o. one of the leading tourist agencies in BH for receptive – incoming tourism. In 1989 he specialized in Tourism Marketing in Rome and in the same year he opened one of the first travel agencies in the former state. Fortuna Tours annually brings over 80,000 tourists to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and countries in the region. He is the President of the Group for Hospitality and Tourism, which operates at the Foreign Trade Chamber of BH.

mili.bijavica@fortuna.ba

Ivan Jurilj

Director, Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County

Ivan Jurilj is the director of the Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County for European Integration. He is an expert in the processes of local and regional economic development and European integration, funds and programs of the European Union. He has over 15 years of experience in the preparation and implementation of EU projects and strategic planning of local and regional development.

ivan@eui-zzh.ba

Csilla Mezösi

Secretary General, ESPA – European Spas Association

From 2018 Secretary General of ESPA, and Member of the Board from 2002. Networking between spa, rehabilitation centres and clinics, medical research and education partners, spa hotels and medical spas, spa operators and investors. Cooperation in EU working groups and by EU tenders. Strategic project management, from city-level to national government supported developments, 15 years of tourism management expertise in EU largest outbound market; B2B and B2C sales, PR, events, product development; 5 years of expertise in medical tourism in key markets; project management in health tourism (international PR, management consultancy, spa development, cross marketing between providers and health insurers, medical tourism). Advisory and consultant projects in medical tourism for Hungarian Tourism Board on international markets (marketing plan, PR, fam trips, study tours, road shows, creating catalogues and online platforms, speaker at health tourism and EU congresses).

mezosi@europeanspas.eu

Siyka Katsarova

President of Bulgarian Union of Balneology and spa tourism (BUBSPA)

Vice- President of ESPA and President of Bulgarian Union of Balneology and spa tourism (BUBSPA). 25 years in Bulgarian hospitality, and last 13 years devoted to the development of Bulgarian and European health tourism.  Key expert of the working group who created the regulation for medical spa, spa and wellness tourism in the Bulgarian National Legislation. Member of the National Tourism Council in the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism and of the Health commission at the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Founder and managing partner of the „MEDSPA BG“, a leading facilitator providing medical treatments, check-up and rehabilitation with the most prominent doctors in Bulgaria. Specialized in infertility – IVF with own and donor eggs, IUI, egg freezing, embryo freezing; accepting complicated cases for treatment, and no discrimination.

sisykatsarova@yahoo.co.uk

Iztok Altbauer

Managing Director, Slovenian Spas Association

Mr. Altbauer was appointed Managing Director at the Slovenian Spas Association (SSA) ten years ago. Previously, he was CEO of Globtour, one of the leading Slovenian Tour Operators, and Sales and Marketing Manager at the Slovenian Tourist Board. He founded the Slovenian Incoming Workshop, the leading incoming tourism event in Slovenia today. Mr. Altbauer established strong connections to the Spa, Health and Wellness industry in the Region. He is a regular speaker at conferences including ITB Experts Forum Wellness in 2017. One of his most important projects is “SPA-CE” – Specialized Workshop and Meeting place of Spa & Wellness in Central Europe, the first and only business event of its kind in Central Europe. During Mr. Altbauer’s work, SSA joined ESPA and he is the Founding Member of the Balkan Spa Institute.

iztok.altbauer@ssnz.si

Marcel Medak

President of the Health Tourism Association of Croatia

Marcel Medak has been the President of the Health Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Economy since 2012. Also, he is member of the Council of the Croatian National Tourist Board and Executive Board Member of the European Historic Thermal Towns Association – EHTTA. After eight years as Director of Daruvar Spa and converting the thermal resort into the leading rehabilitation centre in the country, he became a Director of Bizovačke Spa in 2018 which operates within the Bluesunhotels Group, a well-known Croatian hotel chain.

marcel.medak@bluesunhotels.com

Ognjen Bagatin

CEO, Bagatin Clinic and initiator, Entrepreneurial Mindset

Ognjen Bagatin is a 38-year old CEO of Bagatin Clinic, which is according to Deloitte one of the fastest growing small and medium-sized medical institutions which currently has 120 employees in two locations in Zagreb and one in Split. With an extensive knowledge and understanding of the private health system, he’s a consultant for 20 clinics across both Croatia and Europe in the field of cosmetic surgery, dermatology and dentistry.  He is a member of the President Board of MBA Croatia, member of the Medical Tourism Council at the Croatian Chamber of Economy and member of the executive board of Croatian Employers Association for private clinics, hospitals and health care facilities. Being the CEO of the best international clinic for cosmetic surgery in 2019, he is a firm believer that “hard work, persistence and continuous improvement can lead you all the way to the top!”

ognjen.bagatin@bagatin.hr

Andrea Škerlj

Project Manager, HOW Festival

She completed Sustainable Tourism Development, and during her studies, she got a job at the HESA Group, where she still works today. She is the Project Manager of the HOW / Hotel Operations Weekend / Festival. HOW is the only conference on hotel operations in Europe that brings together over 600 participants each year; mostly hotel directors and hotel department heads. The aim of the Festival is to convey trends in operations, best practice cases and to facilitate the implementation of new products and services to hoteliers.

andrea@hesa-group.com

Adriano Požarić

Editor at TURIZAM info magazine and director of Internet Adria conference

After working in tourism in Opatija, at positions from waiters to Hotel Manager, in 1996 he starts a marketing agency specializing in tourism marketing. In 2003 he launches Tourism Info – a professional magazine for the tourism sector as a platform for information of profession.
He becomes actively involved in the development of Opatija’s tourism industry during 2001 when he became a member of the Tourism Council. In 2005 he founded the city’s congress office, making Opatija the only Croatian city with a congress office, besides Zagreb and Dubrovnik. He was the Head of the presentation and promotion of the Opatija Riviera and Croatia at many European tourism fairs and workshops. He is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and tourism congresses in recent years.
He is the founder and director of HoReCa Adria, an Internet Adria conference and several training and workshops in tourism.

adriano.pozaric@turizaminfo.hr

Adem Braco Suljić

Director MEETEX-a

Adem Braco Suljic has 30+ years of experience in MICE, from family owned meeting support and organization company, over international career as GM at BRAHLER Spain handling projects such as Olympic games and conferences with 20.000 participants, followed by setting up and controlling distribution network for BRAHLER in SE Europe, all the way to planning and executing meetings infrastructure projects on three continents. Since 2017 he decided to make the best use of his-experience in destination marketing and knowledge transfer, in mutual efforts with CMPA Croatian Meeting Professionals Association. Among other roles, Braco is initiator, co-founder and director of MEETEX – Croatian Meetings Industry Summit.

Braco is regular and CCMEP Certified member of CMPA-Croatian Meeting Professionals Association, a member of SKAL International, and is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings. In free time passionate about sailing, gastronomy and cooking.

braco@meetex.eu

Ingrid Badurina Danielsson

Director, Taste the Mediterranean festival

Director and founder of Taste the Mediterranean, the unique international festival of Mediterranean food, gastronomy, products, cultural heritage and way of life, that promotes Croatia as one of the leading Mediterranean food & wine destinations. From 2017 Director of the Gault&Millau Croatia gastronomic guide, organizer of numerous food and wine festivals in Croatia such as 1001 Delicacies, the Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival and events like Little school of wine for women and Little school of great chefs, as well as international presentations of Croatian chefs and Croatian food & wine at Chefs World Summit (Monaco), Croatie la voici (France), Food in Sud (France), Salone del gusto (Slow Food – Italy), Vini da terre estreme (Italy), Taste of Moscow, Wine Fiestas (Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur), Croatia Wine Gourmet (Sweden)… From 2005 owner and Director of Laniva ltd, a PR agency that promotes food & wine, gastronomy and tourism. Former journalist (Croatian magazines Start and Globus) and correspondent for the Italian La Stampa.

ingrid.badurina@tastethemediterranean.eu

Damjana Domanovac

Director, PLACE2GO

Direktorica Međunarodnog sajma turizam PLACE2GO i vlasnica istoimenog turističkog magazine svoju je poslovnu karijeru započela u izdavaštvu 1995. Kao vlasnica nekoliko magazine (Vjenčanja, Cvijeće) i Sajma vjenčanja, projekte je uspješno prodala 2008. godine tvrtki Adriamedia Zagreb. Od 2006. godine kreće u novi izdavački projekt, ovoga puta u turizmu te pokreće magazin Putovanja za dvoje koji 2016. godine doživljava rebranding i postaje PLACE2GO. Franšize istoimenog magazina prodane su u više zemalja (Francuskoj, Italiji, Njemačkoj, Srbiji, Sloveniji, BiH). 2012. godine pokreće Međunarodni Sajam turizma PLACE2GO koji je danas najveći sajam turizma u Hrvatskoj.

damjana@place2go.hr

Frano Ridjan

TV shows and business conferences presenter

Frano Ridjan is a popular radio and TV presenter. As a student, he worked at the Croatian National Radio Station HR2 and for many years his fans followed him at HRT shows “Dobro jutro, Hrvatska” (Good Morning, Croatia), “Dobar dan, Hrvatska” (Good Day, Croatia) and “Kod nas doma” (At our place). Today, he is the host of the super-popular shows at Nova TV “Supertalent” and “Your face sounds familiar”. He is also popular presenter at many tourism conferences in Croatia. He is very popular and liked by many because of his positive energy and casual approach. He graduated Journalism at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb.

His interests are in art, languages, dance and travel. He says that he enjoys getting to know other cultures, because after each trip he loves the culture and tradition of his country own even more.

frano.ridjan@gmail.com

Patricia Diesel

Author of Keep It Simple Now

Patricia is a leading organizing expert and lifestyle coach. Her proven strategies and life transforming lessons help restore tranquility and a sense of order to people’s lives. Patricia loves to educate and inspire people on the benefits of being organized and living healthy, conscious lives. You can learn more and receive free resources to improve your life at

www.PatriciaDiesel.com

keepitsimplenow@gmail.com

Leila Krešić-Jurić

Director, HTI Konferencija

Director of the international HTI Conference & Expo and the European initiative that promotes health tourism – European HTI Summit. She is fascinated by tourism, committed to excellence and sustainable growth, and particularly to networking and opportunities to influence the tourism sector. She has participated in various projects of the European Commission, and as the director of the Tourism Sector at the Croatian Chamber of Economy and a member of the Tourism Committee of the Croatian Parliament, she has contributed to the development of sectoral strategies, policies and legislation. Previous work experience includes hospitality, circular economy, human resources and corporate governance. An economist with an EMBA degree from the Hult International Business School (London), she speaks five languages and lives in Zagreb.

leila.kresic.juric@hticonference.com

Why SMART TOURISM 5.0?

There is no doubt that tourism is entering the era of "super-smart society 5.0" in which everything is human-centred. Although it is most often identified with the application of digitalization and advanced technological solutions, robotics and artificial intelligence, smart tourism is definitely conditioned by the development of circular economy and sustainability, thus creating a healthy environment for human life and human society.

The organizers of SMART TOURISM 5.0:

  • host their partners, renowned international experts and local leaders
  • bring key trends, global and European experiences, ideas and plans of doing business in the future, and
  • discuss how to prepare for new tourism models after the crisis caused by months of isolation and disruption of all travel.

The first conference on year-round tourism that gathers prominent local and regional tourism experts, and a wide range of tourism professionals...

More
The conference always brings fresh ideas, successful experiences and expert discussions of tourism leaders from the region and Europe (Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro) about all-seasons tourism.

The conference updates the development of destinations and communities, creating new products that do not depend only on sun & beach, telling authentic stories, and smart and creative recycling of local specifics into a new quality and experience tailored to modern tourists, which allows to extend the season on the coast and start the development of continental destinations.
 

New Europe exhibition for meetings, events & incentive travel...

More
Conventa is the first and largest regional business tourism exchange, which is held every year in Ljubljana. In one place, it presents the congress offer of more than 15 countries of "New Europe" to invited organizers of events, congresses and incentive trips from Europe and beyond. Every year, more than 130 exhibitors gather at the Conventa (hotels, congress bureaus, congress centers, DMC and PCO agencies) and on the other hand 250 organizers from more than 45 countries.
 

The APRIORI TOURISM conference for several years brings together domestic and regional experts from the tourism sector, with the aim of developing destination tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina...

More
Apriori BH - Agency for Professional Development, Event Management and Communications is the organizer of the conference, which is attended by representatives of the public, private and higher education sectors in the field of tourism. The aim of the conference is to present good examples and projects in the region, and to network experts and practitioners at the regional level. The program is thematically oriented towards new and interesting areas where there is potential for development. The conference is recognized by the profession and the public as a unique and leading tourism conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 

ESPA is a non-profit and non-governmental association based in Belgium. It represents 20 countries in Europe, among them national and regional spas associations, health resorts and spa facilities, with natural remedies...

More

Its global objective is to promote spas, medical spas and balneology in Europe and to take care that the natural remedies based on mineral water, thermal water, peloids and climate will be available to a great number of citizens and visitors as possible. The principle of an association is “Unity is strength!” and therefore is ESPA taking up the challenge to fulfil the tasks that result from the opening of borders in Europe and the extension of the EU, to achieve the defined common aims of its members.

 

More
The conference always brings fresh ideas, successful experiences and expert discussions of tourism leaders from the region and Europe (Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro) about all-seasons tourism.

The conference updates the development of destinations and communities, creating new products that do not depend only on sun & beach, telling authentic stories, and smart and creative recycling of local specifics into a new quality and experience tailored to modern tourists, which allows to extend the season on the coast and start the development of continental destinations.
 

More
Conventa is the first and largest regional business tourism exchange, which is held every year in Ljubljana. In one place, it presents the congress offer of more than 15 countries of "New Europe" to invited organizers of events, congresses and incentive trips from Europe and beyond. Every year, more than 130 exhibitors gather at the Conventa (hotels, congress bureaus, congress centers, DMC and PCO agencies) and on the other hand 250 organizers from more than 45 countries.
 

More
Apriori BH - Agency for Professional Development, Event Management and Communications is the organizer of the conference, which is attended by representatives of the public, private and higher education sectors in the field of tourism. The aim of the conference is to present good examples and projects in the region, and to network experts and practitioners at the regional level. The program is thematically oriented towards new and interesting areas where there is potential for development. The conference is recognized by the profession and the public as a unique and leading tourism conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 

More

Its global objective is to promote spas, medical spas and balneology in Europe and to take care that the natural remedies based on mineral water, thermal water, peloids and climate will be available to a great number of citizens and visitors as possible. The principle of an association is “Unity is strength!” and therefore is ESPA taking up the challenge to fulfil the tasks that result from the opening of borders in Europe and the extension of the EU, to achieve the defined common aims of its members.

 

PROGRAM

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

10:00h
Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia
Keynotes hosted by Tourism 365?

Are the borders within the EU really open, the effects of new campaigns, what about domestic tourists

 

  • Maja Pak, Slovenian Tourism Board / Slovenia
  • Kristjan Staničić, Director, Croatian Tourism Board
  • Ivana Kolar, Conference Director, Tourism 365?
10:30h
Conventa Exhibition, Slovenia

Are events gone-away, when will events in the Region start again, how to create new successful MICE campaigns

 

  • Miha Kovačić, Co-founder, Conventa / Slovenia
  • Gorazd Čad, Co-founder, Conventa / Slovenia
  • Igor Kovačević, CEO, Convention Bureau within National Tourism Organisation of Serbia / Serbia
  • Janez Kopač Lebar, Project and event Manager, MPG plus
11:15h
APRIORI Tourism conference, BH

COVID19 as a platform for new EU projects in the Region, new tourism products in the BH market, networking as a prerequisite for tourism recovery, expect from this year season and the next one

 

  • Josipa Terzić-Rezić, Conference organizer, Apriori BH / BH

  • Stjepan Primorac, President, Tourism Cluster Herzegovina / BH
  • Mili Bijavica, CEO, Fortuna Tours / BH
  • Ivan Jurilj, Director, European Integration Office, Government of WHC / BH
12:00h
ESPA - European Spas Association
Roundable in partnership with HTI Conference

 Health tourism in the post-corona era, European medical spas and health resorts serving new demand, new products and communication channels, balneology at a service of Covid19 prevention

 

  • Csilla Mezösi, Secretary General, ESPA / Hungary

  • Siyka Katsarova, Vice President, ESPA / Bulgaria

  • Iztok Altbauer, Managing Director, Slovenian Spas Association / Slovenia
  • Marcel Medak, President, Health Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Economy

 

12:45h
When will we meet again with Frano Ridjan?

Tourism business events and fairs in Croatia

 

  • Ognjen Bagatin, Project Initiator, Poduzetnički Mindset (Entrepreneurial Mindset)
  • Andrea Škerlj, Project Manager, HOW Festival

  • Adriano Požarić, Conference Director, Internet Adria

  • Adem Braco Suljić, Summit Director, MEETEX

  • Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, Festival Director, Taste the Mediterranean

  • Damjana Domanovac, Fair Director, PLACE2GO

  • Ivana Kolar, Conference Director, Tourism 365?

  • Frano RidjanTV shows and business conferences presenter
13:30h
How to re-focus in the New Normal?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

 

  • Patricia Diesel, author, Keep It Simple Now, LLC / USA

  • Leila Krešić-Jurić, HTI Conference Director

The organizer reserves the right to change and amend the program.

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