Mr. Zlatan Muftić, general manager of the Zagreb Convention Bureau, and general manager of the Zagreb’s Tourist Sector. He was born in Zagreb in 1972. He is the air traffic engineer, presently at the “Tourism Management” at the Faculty of Economy post-graduate studies in Zagreb.
He has been working in tourism ever since 1993, beginning as a tourist informer, working also as an expert associate for the electronic promotion and information.
Since 2002 he has been involved in activities related to promoting the city of Zagreb as a congress and incentive destination, as his main field of interest.
1. What are the main advantage points, according to your opinion, that the city of Zagreb has as a congress destination, and what are the main flaws?
I would separate the main advantages into several categories. Zagreb is the city with rich cultural-historic heritage and a friendly atmosphere in which the mid-European and Mediterranean ways of life make a unique blend.
Numerous city’s attractions and most of the congress hotels are located in the very centre of the town, just a few minutes away from the main city square. Zagreb is also abundant with special historic venues, such as museums and galleries, which can also be used for conventions and other sorts of events. The main drawback is the absence of a polyvalent Congress Centre which could host a larger number of delegates (4.000 – 5.000). Likewise, Zagreb needs a new passenger terminal at the airport that would secure a higher quality of air traffic.
2. Are there indications for the construction of an adequate Congress Centre in Zagreb, which would allow obtaining large-scale international conferences?
Unfortunately, the times of recession and crisis in the last few years were not favourable for great investments. As for the congress centre, there are preliminary designs prepared already, along with some proposals for potential locations, but the final decision will be reached by the City as the chief investor. We trust it will happen in the next period of time.
3. One of the main tasks of the Congress Bureau is to promote the congress and incentive offers of a particular city / country. What are the most important activities that the Zagreb Tourist Board realized in this direction?
The Congress Bureau is actively promoting Zagreb at all relevant international congress-incentive tradeshows together with the meetings industry representatives of the city, that is, PCO – DMC agencies and hoteliers.
We organize study trips and sites inspection for the organizers of congresses and incentives, as well as for the media representatives. Besides, we also organize our own presentations or take part at some special presentations and workshops organized by the Croatian Congress and Incentive Office.
Furthermore, Zagreb Tourist Board and its Convention Bureau produce various promotional printed matters: brochures, films, CDs, web pages for the tourist and the congress offers separately.
4. Can you point out some of the most important events which are to take place in Zagreb this year?
According to data presented by the State Statistics Institution, there were more than 600 business meetings in Zagreb in the first quarter only.
Out of the relevant assemblies announced by the Zagreb Convention Bureau until the end of this year, I would like to mention several congresses: 8th International Conference on European Energy Market, 10th International Conference on Live Maintenance, 3rd International Conference of Medical Tourism & Travel Medicine, ICOM CECA Annual Conference 2011. The world congress of tourist journalists was also announced, along with numerous other conventions.
5. How important are the markets of the neighbouring countries for the meetings industry of the city of Zagreb? Are there certain plans regarding this issue?
We approach all markets with particular attention, and we shall strive in that sense to further improve our activities, as well as those aimed at neighbouring countries.
This is especially significant in the congress-incentive field, where destinations compete for a large number of events organized by various international organizations.
The neighbouring countries and those in the vicinity are important, particularly as potential clients for the organization of their own corporative events, incentives, team building, and other similar activities. Similarly, they are also important for the organization of congresses.