New premises may draw more congresses to Slovakia

The country constantly struggles with its proximity to well-known European cities.

Incheba Expo Bratislava can hold events for up to 4,500 participants.Incheba Expo Bratislava can hold events for up to 4,500 participants.(Source: SME)

Vienna, Prague and Budapest: three metropolises neighbouring Slovakia that regularly top world congress tourism rankings. In 2017, Vienna almost exceeded 200 events.

With 15 events, Bratislava placed in the middle of the overall rankings in the world. In comparison to EU member states’ capital cities, only Nicosia, Cyprus finished behind Bratislava.

A year before, the Slovak capital organised 21 events. However, experts have not discussed the downward trend. Slovakia only has a 25-year history and Bratislava has developed differently than Vienna, Prague and Budapest, according to Nina Erneker of the Bratislava Convention Bureau (BCB), a department of the professional destination management organisation Bratislava Tourist Board, chaired by Alžbeta Melicharová.

Strategy and lobbying are essential for the Meeting Industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events – MICE). Former director of the Vienna Convention Bureau, Christian Mutschlechner, placed Vienna on the MICE map as one of the most relevant congress destinations thanks to their long-term strategy and planning, said Erneker.

“The strategy used by other destinations to attract large congresses is really close to those used in diplomacy and lobbying,” Erneker told The Slovak Spectator.

A lot of intense work is needed to convince international clients to come to Bratislava, said Peter Petrovič of Guarant International, an international congress management firm in central and eastern Europe.

Congresses do not recognise Slovakia

Similarly to previous years, Slovakia remains an unknown destination for MICE. The latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking for 2018 placed the country 65th. The USA, Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom topped the ranking. Dominant cities include Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona and Berlin.

While Slovakia improved its position by two places compared to the previous year, the Slovak Statistics Office confirms a 6.3 percent growth in the number of participants and events in the country.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Kuciak’s boss: I'm 100 percent sure Kočner ordered the murder

Kuciak was not doing it for money but for a higher principle, said editor-in-chief of Aktuality.sk.

Ján Kuciak's colleagues

National court drama intensifies as polls raise alarm

The first week of the Kuciak murder trial saw key witnesses take the stand while polls do not rule out a far-right victory in February.

Peter Toth

Haščák said the message he got from Kočner was not about Kuciak

Two people have already been punished in the murder case.

Penta financial group partner Jaroslav Haščák was called forward to the court because of a message Kočner had sent to him prior to the Kuciak murder

President Čaputová: The path of hatred leads to tragedies and crimes

The president and the prime minister commemorated the inhabitants of Ostrý Grúň and Kľak killed during WWII.

The commemorative event in the village of Kľak.