The Panel was led by Ms. Miša Novak, leading expert on tourism in Slovenia and it was also attended by the Slovenian Minister of Economy and Tourism Mr. Zdravko Počivalšek, Hosting d.o.o. director and renowned Slovenian consultant for tourism Mr. Peter Vesenjak, senior partner in Horwath&Horwath consulting Zagreb Mr. Miroslav Dragičević, founder of Snowcone&Haystack, prominent business innovator and creative thinker Mr. Marco Steinberg from Helsinki who, in his capacity as key note speaker, opened the panel, director of Hotel BestWestern Slon Ljubljana and president of the Hotel Industry Association at the Slovenian Chamber of Tourism Mr. Gregor Jamnik, and director and owner of the innovative glamping resort Charming Slovenia Iztok Podkrižnik and partner and president of the company for marketing consultancy and research Valicon Mr. Zenel Batagelj.
The event was opened by Slovenian Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar, and the panel's objective was to check actual challenges faced by Slovenian tourism, to look for answers to questions about the current situation in Slovenian tourism sector, and to consider key points of advancement over the new strategic period, as Slovenia is starting to define its tourism development strategy for the ensuing five-year period.
Mr. Ivan Paladina is the main initiator of changes in Institut IGH which he competently leads toward the goal of creating the region's leading consulting company for the design, engineering, and project management and, in this respect, he builds on the impressive knowledge base of this company with long-standing tradition and experience, by focusing on market oriented operations, and by shaping new services fully adjusted to modern trends in construction industry. He is developing a significant part of the company's operations to meet demand in the rapidly growing tourism market, and is taking part in prominent national capital investment projects in tourism. In addition, Mr. Paladina is the creative leader of the Kupari Project, which is the largest-scale investment in tourism, where he currently prepares the first luxurious tourist resort in Croatia.
Together with other participants in the panel, he discussed the ways in which tourism can be developed more efficiently through creative thinking and implementation of innovative approaches. Although tourism in Slovenia greatly differs from this activity in Croatia, mainly because most tourist facilities in Slovenia are open to visitors twelve months in a year, and as national supply is developing toward becoming a modern green destination promoting healthy life style and proper health care, the conclusions reached at the panel can certainly be applied to Croatian tourism as well. Tourist destinations can not progress without new investments, and tourism can not grow without bold and innovative projects. Global market is growing at a rapid pace, and so principal lines of further growth must be dictated, environment favourable to new investors must be created, particularly as to legal framework, and destinations and potential projects must be properly promoted and presented to the global investment market.