Ljubljana, Slovenia proved to be the perfect setting for this year’s Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Incentive Summit held 18-22 January. This annual event takes the SITE Board of Directors and Foundation Trustees to a part of the world that can leverage the experience and knowledge of this group of global industry leaders to grow its incentive travel business.
“The purpose of the Summit is to work in partnership with an emerging incentive destination and provide a platform for learning, exploration, and relationship building. All three were accomplished and more! With 25 of our incentive industry leaders coming from around the world- all but one had never visited Slovenia - expectations were high. We knew it would be memorable but didn’t expect to have many of us crying on the closing night because of the deep relationships and connections that we created in our week together,” said Kevin Hinton, SITE Chief Excellence Officer.
Over 160 attendees representing hotels, DMCs, airlines, governments and students from 10 countries across Central Europe participated in the SITE Education Day. Not only did attendees gain insights on the latest incentive travel trends, they learned how to market their destinations to the global incentive industry. SITE also hosted a CEO Forum with local industry leaders and participated in the Future Leaders Forum where Foundation President, Denise Dornfeld and Board Member, Daryl Keywood shared their personal experiences.
“The desire for knowledge in this little country was beyond anything we could have imagined. I can confidently say that we were able to give each and every person who attended Education Day at least one little insight, one practical idea that will change the way they do business. This is not just my impression, but is what we heard from everyone we met,” Rajeev Kohli, SITE President, stated in a blog about the event.
Hosted by the Slovenian Convention Bureau, the Summit was co-located with Conventa, and took place at the Grand Hotel Union located in the heart of Ljubljana. Miha Kovacic, Director, Slovenian Convention Bureau shared that the primary reason for hosting the Incentive Summit was to learn how to present and market Slovenia as an incentive destination. “It was a great experience for our incentive industry, all the hosts, our Bureau and especially for me personally. The event provided many answers, but also great ideas and confirmation that Slovenia has more opportunities in the global incentive market. By hosting the Summit, I am confident that Slovenia and the region will make progress in this lucrative business. I will join SITE and start to promote the association in Slovenia and the region with a goal to setup a chapter in the near future.”
Tomo Čeh, General Manager, Grand Hotel Union commented, “I am pleased and honoured that Grand Hotel Union, whose tradition makes it the jewel in the crown of the Union Hotels group, is part of this important story, with which we build bridges between destinations. We are proud to be providing top-quality services, thus proving that both Ljubljana, and Slovenia as a whole, is an excellent incentive travel destination.”
Throughout the week SITE leaders enjoyed unique experiences and activities that showcased Slovenia’s rich history, culture and gastronomy. “Another benefit of the Summit is to expose our members to new and emerging incentive travel destinations,” Hinton added. “Slovenia is a small country with big heart and lots to offer. Mother nature provides a naturally beautiful setting, which Slovenians are keen to protect and they are proud that Ljubljana will be celebrated as the European Green Capital 2016. After our week in the country we are convinced that it is an incentive quality destination that can deliver unforgettable experiences and motivational moments beyond the ordinary.”
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