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10:00 am

Anja Profozić, director, Proper Events & Research, Croatia Chairperson: Ana Miletić, head of strategic consulting, Selectio, Croatia

10:10 am
Joze Tomaš
Hotel Park Split

Case study: Hotel Park Split - Our story of luxury from 1921 until today

  • Keeping up with high standards and luxury 365 days a year
  • Utilising content marketing and storytelling to attract guests who search for luxury
  • Achieving year-round occupancy with evening themed parties and events
  • Thrilling the most demanding guests, VIPs and “incognito” guests

10:30 am
Panel discussion

Putting​ ​together​ ​the​ ​personnel​ ​puzzle​ ​in​ ​seasonal​ ​businesses

  • How​ ​to​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​the​ ​“headache”​ ​of​ ​finding​ ​and​ ​keeping​ ​high​ ​quality​ ​hotel​ ​personnel,​ ​from​ ​one​ ​high season​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next
  • Tips​ ​and​ ​tricks​ ​for​ ​managing​ ​the​ ​challenges​ ​of​ ​seasonal​ ​businesses​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​high​ ​quality​ ​staff
  • Considering​ ​the​ ​value​ ​of​ ​training​ ​programmes​ ​and​ ​staff​ ​incentives​ ​in​ ​hotels
  • Case​ ​studies​ ​from​ ​around​ ​the​ ​globe
Confirmed ​panellists: ​
Antonio ​Piantanida, ​complex ​general ​manager, ​HTP ​Orebić, ​Croatia
Sanja ​Gagulić, management ​board ​member, ​Bluesun ​Hotels ​& ​Resorts, ​Croatia
Joze ​Tomaš, ​general ​manager, ​Hotel ​Park ​Split, ​Croatia

11:00 am
Tea Pestotnik Prebeg
​Valamar ​Riviera

Case​ ​study:​ ​Raising​ ​the​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​products​ ​and​ ​services​ ​through​ ​investments

  • Discussing​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​standards​ ​and​ ​international​ ​quality​ ​certificates
  • Measuring​ ​guest​ ​satisfaction​ ​and​ ​the​ ​excellence​ ​of​ ​service​ ​quality
  • Methods​ ​for​ ​improving​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​services​ ​and​ ​products

11:20 am

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Julius Meinl Bonfanti

12:20 pm
Panel discussion

​What​ ​does​ ​luxury​ ​travel​ ​actually​ ​mean​ ​today,​ ​and​ ​how​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​up​ ​with​ ​its​ ​trends?

  • How​ ​the​ ​concept​ ​of​ ​luxury​ ​has​ ​evolved​ ​over​ ​time​ ​from​ ​the​ ​beginnings​ ​of​ ​tourism
  • Overview​ ​of​ ​how​ ​different​ ​generations​ ​perceive​ ​luxury​ ​-​ ​What​ ​are​ ​affluent​ ​millennial​ ​travelers​ ​looking​ ​for vs.​ ​baby​ ​boomers​ ​or​ ​Gen​ ​X?
  • How​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​hotel​ ​facilities​ ​and​ ​activities​ ​to​ ​attract​ ​luxury​ ​guests?
  • What​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​ICT​ ​support​ ​is​ ​required​ ​in​ ​luxury​ ​accommodation​ ​facilities?
  • How​ ​does​ ​CRM​ ​and​ ​Loyalty​ ​programs​ ​improve​ ​guest​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​how​ ​to​ ​attract​ ​and​ ​retain​ ​best guests?
  • The​ ​future​ ​of​ ​data​ ​analytics​ ​including​ ​prediction​ ​and​ ​artificial​ ​intelligence
  • The​ ​importance​ ​and​ ​logistics​ ​of​ ​“incognito”​ ​stays​ ​(Case​ ​studies)
  • The​ ​steps​ ​of​ ​the​ ​process​ ​for​ ​those​ ​hotels​ ​wishing​ ​to​ ​upgrade​ ​their​ ​hotel​ ​to​ ​luxury
Confirmed ​panellists: ​
Boris ​Vižintin, ​managing ​director, ​Hotel ​President ​Pantovcak, ​Croatia
Trpimir ​Kvesić, ​co-founder ​and ​CEO, ​InSky ​Solutions, ​Croatia
Mihajlo ​Cakić, ​general ​manager, ​Hotel ​Tesla ​Smart ​Stay, ​Serbia

12:50 pm
Tomislav Hrala
Kempinski Palace Portorož

Case study: Kempinski Palace Portorož & Kempinski Hotel Adriatic - Our approach to luxury at two different locations

1:10 pm
Panel discussion

Authentic hospitality - The art of creating an exceptional experience for each guest

  • How to create an authentic “upscale” travel experience?
  • What is the role of local culture in providing guests with a uniquely luxurious experience?
  • How are the best of the best using local culture to attract guests and create an atmosphere of “authentic luxury”?
  • The role of F&B in delivering authenticity - What's on the wish lists these days, and how difficult is it to deliver?
  • Best practice in keeping the most difficult guests happy by being authentic
Confirmed speaker:
Andrea Glavan, general manager, Hotel Bellevue, Croatia
Ayhan Basci, general manager, Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik, Croatia
Michael Caspar, general manager, Radisson Blu Resort Split, Croatia
Mario ​Ovsenjak, ​general ​manager, ​Hotel ​Gotham, ​United ​Kingdom

1:40 pm

Lunch break - hosted lunch tables

3:00 pm
Andrej Kačič
​Collegium ​Mondial Travel

Case​ ​study:​ ​Obonjan​ ​Island​ ​Resort

3:20 pm
Croatian ​Telecom

How​ ​ICT​ ​solutions​ ​can​ ​improve​ ​hotel​ ​operations​ ​and​ ​fulfil guests'​ ​expectations

Speakers: Ivana ​Beli ​Oštarčević, ​director ​of ​ICT ​propositioning ​department, ​Croatian ​Telecom, ​Croatia Krešimir ​Jusup, ​ICT ​standard ​proposition ​& ​pricing ​management ​expert, ​Croatian ​Telecom, ​Croatia

3.40 pm
Panel discussion

Storytelling and content marketing for luxury tourism

  • Overview of the luxury marketing practices that any hotel can afford
  • How to compete with international luxurious brands on a limited budget?
  • How to turn your luxury hotel experience into online bookings?
  • Should you invest in digital marketing technology?
  • Why storytelling sells and how to analyse if your story does the trick?
Confirmed speakers:
Marina Krizman, chief travel officer, Envy, Croatia
Ana First, head of sales SEE/UK & Scandinavia, Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort, Croatia
Ksenija Lubarda, director of sales and marketing, Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Serbia
Daniela Nova, director of distribution, Orbis / AccorHotels Eastern Europe, Poland
Aleksandra ​Marić, ​marketing ​director, ​Hotel ​Tesla ​Smart ​Stay, ​Serbia

4:10 pm

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Julius Meinl Bonfanti

4:40 pm
Ante Grancarić
Swanky Mint Hostel

Case study: Swanky Mint Hostel - Creating the posh hostel

5:00 pm
Panel discussion

​"Less​ ​is​ ​more"​ ​-​ ​How​ ​to​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​attracting​ ​higher​ ​quality,​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​quantity,​ ​of guests?

  • Why​ ​do​ ​we​ ​keep​ ​measuring​ ​and​ ​admiring​ ​the​ ​numbers​ ​of​ ​guests​ ​which​ ​visit​ ​each​ ​year,​ ​rather​ ​than focusing​ ​on​ ​improvement​ ​in​ ​the​ ​quality​ ​and​ ​types​ ​of​ ​guests?
  • How​ ​do​ ​we​ ​change​ ​that​ ​habit?
  • Case​ ​studies​ ​of​ ​successfully​ ​changing​ ​a​ ​destination​ ​from​ ​attracting​ ​quantity​ ​to​ ​attracting​ ​quality​ ​guests who​ ​stay​ ​longer​ ​and​ ​spend​ ​more
Confirmed ​panellists: ​ Franco ​Peruza, ​vice ​president ​business ​development, ​Odien ​Hotels, ​Croatia Bruno ​Nizić, ​hotel ​director, ​Hotel ​Vestibul ​Palace, ​Croatia Irina ​Tomić, ​executive ​director, Adriatic ​Tourist ​Resorts, ​Croatia

5:30 pm

Best Stay 2017 Awards

8:00 pm

Best Stay Party

Join us at Hotel Park upstairs to kick off the party with drinks, canapes and good music from 8 pm!

9:25 am
Opening remarks

Chairperson: Tina Odinsky-Zec, director, innovation and entrepreneurship center, Zagreb School of Economics and Management, Croatia

9:30 am
Ana Brant
Dorchester Collection

KEYNOTE: ​Designing, crafting and curating ultra luxury experiences

9:50 pm

​Extending​ ​the​ ​hotel​ ​-​ ​guest​ ​relationship​ ​beyond​ ​the​ ​hotel​ ​walls


  1. Alen ​Gojčeta, ​ICT ​director, ​VIPnet, ​Croatia
  2. Lukša ​Jakobušič, ​director, ​Brenum ​(One ​Suite ​Hotel), ​Croatia

10:10 am

​Q&A​ ​with​ ​the​ ​winners​ ​of​ ​Best​ ​Stay​ ​2017​ ​Awards

10:40 am
Panel discussion

​Smart​ ​rooms​ ​and smart hotel -​ ​The​ ​technology​ ​revolution​ ​of​ ​luxury​ ​travel

  • Providing​ ​ICT​ ​services​ ​for​ ​the​ ​constantly​ ​connected​ ​traveller
  • Overview​ ​of​ ​smart​ ​hotel​ ​concepts​ ​including​ ​beacon​ ​technologies,​ ​messaging,​ ​streaming​ ​in-room entertainment​ ​and​ ​others
  • How​ ​does​ ​technology​ ​actually​ ​improve​ ​guest​ ​experience​ ​-​ ​What’s​ ​the​ ​proof?
  • Case​ ​studies
Confirmed ​panellist: Miki ​Bratanić, ​hospitality ​consultant ​and ​partner ​sales ​manager, ​Špica ​Sustavi, ​Croatia Yuri ​Ponomarev, ​IT ​director, ​Belmond ​Grand ​Hotel ​Europe, ​Russian ​Federation Stefan ​Baumann, manager ​hospitality ​and ​MDU ​solutions, ​Central ​and ​Eastern ​Europe, ​Ruckus, Germany Hrvoje Kobešćak, head of eWallet solutions, mStart, Croatia

11:10 am

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Julius Meinl Bonfanti

11:40 am
Dejan Blatnik

​​From​ ​prospect​ ​to​ ​loyal​ ​guest​ ​-​ ​personalized​ ​customer​ ​approach through​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​customer’s​ ​life-cycle​ ​journey

12:00 pm
Nataša Tiška Vrsalović

Landscape design for a wow effect

12:20 pm
Panel discussion

Why​ ​design​ ​and​ ​architecture​ ​are​ ​important​ ​in​ ​creating​ ​the​ ​ultimate​ ​guest​ ​experience

  • How​ ​is​ ​the​ ​taste​ ​of​ ​luxury​ ​guests​ ​changing​ ​with​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​hotel​ ​design,​ ​architecture​ ​and​ ​products?
  • Overview​ ​of​ ​the​ ​leading​ ​hotel​ ​architecture​ ​trends
  • Examples​ ​of​ ​indoor​ ​and​ ​outdoor​ ​designs​ ​and​ ​products​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​feeling​ ​of​ ​luxury
  • Global​ ​case​ ​studies
Confirmed ​panellists: Megan ​Horney, co-founder ​and ​design ​director, ​The ​Admiral ​Zaton, ​Croatia Ole ​Kloth, ​director ​of ​development, ​Soulmade ​Hotel, ​Germany Nataša Tiška Vrsalović, director, Dionaea-Vrtovi, Croatia Marko Murtić, general manager, Emur Studio, Croatia

12:50 pm

Lunch break - hosted lunch tables

1:45 pm
Multiple presentations


 The following most innovative ICT solutions will be presented:

  1. Continuous and interactive customer relationship - luxury or necessity? - Marko Ćorić, Business Consultant, Comping, Croatia
  2. How technology​ ​can​ ​transform​ ​hotel​ ​guest​ ​experience,​ ​drive​ ​greater​ ​loyalty​ ​and​ ​deliver​ ​improved​ ​business performance - ​Petar​ ​Brgan, director​ ​of​ ​business​ ​development,​ ​Clico​ ​SEE,​ ​Croatia
  3. Video Marketing for the Travel and Hospitality Industry - ​Jason Price, President, Covideo, USA
  4. Hoist overview and new products- Paul Molloy, service excellence director, HOIST GROUP, United Kingdom

2:30 pm

The future of luxury travel

Wine and dessert will be served during  round-table discussions. Roundtable topics to choose from and then discuss the topic in a small group include:

  1. Creating essence of the hotel brand’s persona through design - uplifting interior design from economy to luxury by Peter Lösch, director luxury division, Maistra, Croatia
  2. Increasing direct reservation and guest loyalty through e-mail marketing by Martina Rumin, director, MailPlus Adria, Croatia
  3. Discussing hotel categorisation vs. actual quality and luxury by Michael Caspar, general manager, Radisson Blu Resort Split, Croatia
  4. Continuous and interactive customer relationship - luxury or necessity? by Marko Ćorić, Business Consultant, Comping, Croatia
  5. Creating the best stay for your guests through F&B - what’s on the wish lists these days, and how to deliver it? by ​Alexander​ ​Orlandini,​ ​owner,​ ​Orlandini​ ​Consulting​,​ ​Austria
  6. The importance of photography and video in (luxury) tourism by Jonathan Riff, founder & director, The Admiral Zaton, Croatia
  7. How technology​ ​can​ ​transform​ ​hotel​ ​guest​ ​experience,​ ​drive​ ​greater​ ​loyalty​ ​and​ ​deliver improved​ ​business​ ​performance by ​Petar​ ​Brgan,​ ​director​ ​of​ ​business​ ​development,​ ​Clico​ ​SEE,​ ​Croatia
  8. Improve sales with content marketing: Create content that will bring guests to your digital channels and drive your sales by Ana Penović, co-owner, Jasno & Glasno, Croatia

4:00 pm
Ivana Nesković

​Luxury​ ​hotel​ ​performance​ ​overview

4:10 pm
Adriana Mikulić
Boutique ​Hotel ​Adriatic

Case​ ​study:​ ​Boutique​ ​Hotel​ ​Adriatic​ ​-​ ​the​ ​best​ ​small​ ​and​ ​family​ ​hotel​ ​in​ ​the​ ​country

  • Trip​ ​through​ ​time​ ​-​ ​From​ ​a​ ​16th​ ​century​ ​historic​ ​site​ ​to​ ​a​ ​boutique​ ​hotel
  • Discussing​ ​the​ ​advantages​ ​of​ ​family​ ​run​ ​hotel
  • What​ ​pushed​ ​us​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​'adult-only'​ ​hotel​ ​niche?
  • Our​ ​path​ ​to​ ​winning​ ​numerous​ ​awards​ ​and​ ​acknowledgements

4:30 pm
Panel discussion

Uncovering​ ​the​ ​next​ ​big​ ​thing​ ​in​ ​luxury​ ​travel

  • What​ ​trends​ ​in​ ​hyper-personalisation​ ​can​ ​we​ ​expect​ ​in​ ​the​ ​next​ ​three​ ​years?
  • What​ ​are​ ​the​ ​opportunities​ ​for​ ​luxury​ ​tourism​ ​in​ ​the​ ​region?
  • How​ ​will​ ​the​ ​market​ ​adapt​ ​to​ ​the​ ​new​ ​demands​ ​of​ ​wealthy​ ​guests?
  • The​ ​future​ ​of​ ​hotel​ ​reviews​ ​-​ ​the​ ​impact​ ​of​ ​social​ ​media,​ ​booking​ ​technology​ ​and​ ​ways​ ​in​ ​which​ ​hotels are​ ​selected​ ​and​ ​reviewed
Confirmed ​panellists: Ines ​Nanić, ​managing ​director, ​Dubrovnik ​Event, ​Croatia Sanja ​Gagulić, management ​board ​member, ​Bluesun ​Hotels ​& ​Resorts, ​Croatia Irina ​Tomić, ​executive ​director, Adriatic ​Tourist ​Resorts, ​Croatia Darko ​Marinović, ​owner, ​House ​Dubrava, ​Croatia

5:00 pm

Closing of Best Stay 2017