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GORAN PAVLOVIĆ, Opatija Tourist Board

//GORAN PAVLOVIĆ, Opatija Tourist Board

Photo credits: Kongres Magazine

Great congress infrastructure, highly capable and creative staff and spectacular surroundings are some of the features of congresses held in Opatija, an ideal mixture of business, beauty, rich offer and attractive lifestyle.

Conferences are increasingly moving from traditional halls to new venues – parks, cultural institutions and such. Opatija is an ideal choice for organisers of conferences and other business conventions who are looking for first-class conference halls or who want to hold their conferences at unconventional and memorable locations, says Goran Pavlović, a congress tourism representative at the Opatija Tourist Board, and invites business conventions organisers to discover the numerous advantages of this destination:

Q: What are the advantages of holding congresses in Opatija?
GP: Opatija is an attractive and interesting congress centre, and I will provide only a few arguments. One of the advantages is the fact that Opatija is easily accessible to Central and South-Eastern European markets. Cities like Munich, Vienna, Budapest and many others are within a 500 kilometre radius from Opatija. Along with the modern road infrastructure, we are also easily accessible via the airports in Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Trieste, Venice and Ljubljana.

Furthermore, the town’s configuration itself is very interesting since it takes up only 2 to 3 kilometres so all the conferences are held in the heart of the town, right where the participants are accommodated. They can use every spare moment to take a walk by the sea, to enjoy beautiful parks or to meet friends in the town centre. The town’s design makes it a large open-air congress centre.

It is also important to say that life in Opatija is intense throughout the year so there are interesting events taking place in all seasons. Even when the typical tourist destinations ‘hibernate’, we have concerts and plays, thematic festivals and attractive carnivals with long traditions. Opatija simply never sleeps and the Opatija Tourist Board, along with hotel managers and other hosts, does its best to make their guests’ stay here interesting and pleasant. The climate is also favourable for such events and for outdoor activities. The average winter temperature in Opatija is 7°C and it is not rare that you can sit on an open terrace by the sea and have a cup of coffee on a sunny day in January. That is definitely an extraordinary experience.

Q: Tell us about the capacities of the conference venues in Opatija
GP: There are more than 60 conference halls in the hotels, ranging in size from large conference halls to smaller meeting rooms for 20 do 30 people. There are other facilities also, mainly intended for cultural events, but sometimes also used for business conventions. These venues vary in architecture, interior design and size and I am sure that every conference or business meeting organiser can find what they need and what is suitable for the convention they are planning.

Q: Can organisers count on professional staff at the venues and in the town? Does the staff follow the latest trends?
GP: We have professional and experienced staff in Opatija. Business tourism is a tradition here so knowledge is passed from generation to generation and, of course, perfected in order to meet all the needs of modern business guests. PCO agencies work hard to design new programmes and are being very creative. Whether we are talking about conferences or incentive and team building programmes, it is certain that the organisers can count on professional and expert staff familiar with both the modern market needs and the local setting, which is an inexhaustible source of creative programmes.