Slovenia - Preferred Destination of the Year 2016 and
Host of the Annual Meeting of ECTAA
Ljubljana, 25th May 2016 - From 25th to 27th May Slovenia is hosting the annual meeting of ECTAA members, the highest and most influential representatives of European travel agents and tour operators. The three-day meeting, which began today, contributes to the positioning of Slovenia as a visible European tourist destination also among tourism business professionals.ECTAA has declared Slovenia as the Preferred Destination of the Year 2016 and communicates it as such across all its promotional channels. Slovenia is currently hosting an important European tourism event – the annual meeting of members of ECTAA, the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators.Today, and in the following two days, 74 key representatives of national associations of European travel agents and tour operators from thirty countries will be making their way to Slovenia. Lars Thykier, the current President of ECTAA and President of the Danish Association of Travel Agencies, said at the annual meeting: “ECTAA unites 37 national associations of travel agents and tour operators from 34 countries, of which 31 are European countries, including Slovenia and three neighbouring Mediterranean countries. The association represents the interests of 70,000 European travel agents and tour operators - key decision-makers in the European tourist industry. ECTAA strives for development and increasing competitiveness in the field of European tourism with the aim of encouraging the co-operation of members, and discussions about current topics in key European institutions and organisations, as well as providing information to members of the association. The General Assembly meeting is the most important event for the association, where members' representatives meet, exchange experiences and examples of good practice, and make decisions about key questions which affect the legal framework of the companies they represent. ” Thykier expressed particular pleasure that the annual meeting of members of ECTAA is taking place in Slovenia, a country that has impressed him with its wonderful nature, and added that “Slovenia has everything that is required for it to become a top European tourist destination.” Within the annual ECTAA General Assembly meeting, the naming of the new president of the association will also take place. Merike Hallik, from Estonia, will take over this function as of tomorrow (26th May), and on this occasion she highlighted the dynamism which is changing the tourist industry: ”In the last 10 years the travel industry has changed significantly, and trends predict ever faster changes. ECTAA has a key role in ensuring the alignment of legislative changes and constantly changing conditions in the tourism market. The association's aim is to ensure the appropriate legal and economic frameworks whereby our members can operate successfully and create value added for consumers. ” Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport and Mobility, who acquainted participants with current topics in the areas of transport and mobility which are related to tourist activities, emphasised: ”Tourism and transport are closely linked.Transport provides connectivity and accessibility, which is a prerequisite for the development of tourism.It is often stressed that 'if transport stops, everything stops!'; therefore, at a European Union level we strive to ensure that transport connections are safe, reliable and available; that they are available where people need them; that they support development and new employment opportunities.Our aim is a single transport area, which enables sustainable development of a single market, making the work of European destinations attractive for both local and global tourism.Affordable rail and air connections, digital accessibility, decarbonising transport for a cleaner environment and road safety – these are just some of the important issues which I am striving for as European Commissioner.I also invite you to help co-create a successful future of transport! ” Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, said on the occasion: “ECTAA's decision to choose Slovenia as its preferred destination for the year and host of this year's annual conference is a great honour for Slovenian tourism and, at the same time, an opportunity for us to present our country to the highest and most influential members of the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators as a green, healthy, active, unique, sustainable and safe destination.It is also an excellent opportunity for respected ECTAA participants to get acquainted first-hand with Slovenia as a boutique destination. ”
Matej Knaus, President of the Association of Slovenian Travel Agencies, member of ECTAA, emphasised: ”We are delighted that Slovenia is able to host the annual meeting of ECTAA, the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators. The highest representatives of agencies from 30 countries are attending this event, in order to discuss current trends in the travel industry and guidelines for the work of ECTAA – which directly unites over 200,000 travel agents and tour operators. This event has a significant impact on the recognition of Slovenia and the Slovenian Travel Association – ZTAS, which we have successfully upgraded with the candidacy of Slovenia as the ‘Preferred Destination of the Year 2016’. In Slovenia it is also crucial to realise that, for success in the field of tourism, co-operation is key and that together we can meet the dynamic changes in the tourism industry which are ahead of us and constantly present new challenges. We believe there is enormous potential in tourism, one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, about which there is an ever growing awareness in Slovenia.” Tomorrow (26th May), members of ECTAA will socialize at an evening event with members of the Slovenian tourist industry at Ljubljana Castle. Tomorrow's meeting of the association will take place at Hotel Slon, Ljubljana.
Petra Stušek, Director of Tourism Ljubljana: “We are delighted that in the coming days Ljubljana, the European Green Capital 2016, will be the centre of such an important association as ECTAA. The hosting of the spring meeting and the General Assembly meeting in Ljubljana presents an important promotional and marketing opportunity for the continued development of traditional, new, and promising markets in the agency segment. Numerous European tour operators frequently return to Ljubljana, due to the city’s clean and tidy appearance with a touch of Emona, the rich architecture and Ple
nik’s work, the green region at the heart of Slovenia, and its cuisine which wins over visitors, making it attractive for leisure tourism. Ljubljana is also undoubtedly interesting for business as well as tourist investment. In light of recent events, one of the strongest advantages for Slovenia is its ranking in the Global Peace Index among the 15 safest destinations in the world.” ECTAA has declared Slovenia as the Preferred Destination of the Year 2016.In May 2015, as part of the Slovenia Incoming Workshop (SIW 2015), the signing took place of a trilateral agreement about co-operation between ECTAA, SPIRIT Slovenia - the public agency for the tourism sector, and the Association of Tourist Agencies of Slovenia. On this occasion, ECTAA President, Lars Thykier, and General Secretary, Michel de Blust, paid their first official visit to Slovenia.
Slovenia presented itself to select ECTAA members as the next host of ECTAA’s meeting and General Assembly at last November’s semi-annual meeting in Bratislava. The decision was made on the initiative of the Slovenian Tourist Board and Association of Slovenian Tourist Agencies.
ECTAA (The European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Association) acts as an umbrella organisation, which regroups national associations of travel agents and tour operators from 34 countries, of which 31 are European countries, and covers approximately 70,000 providers of tourist travel. It was founded in 1961.
More information can be found here: www.ectaa.org
Don’t Miss: From 9th to 11th June the 19th Slovenia Incoming Workshop – SIW 2016 will take place. You are invited to visit the event. More information is available herewww.slovenia.info/SIW On this year's Global Tourism Day, 27th September, a two-day conference will be held in Ljubljana - Global Green Destinations Day (27th and 28th September 2016). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Slovenian Tourist Board
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ECTAA - Group of National Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations within the EU