On November 22, the Slovenian Convention Bureau hosted a gala award ceremony as part of the Slovenian Ambassador Programme. The event saw the recipients receive the honorary title of Slovenian Congress Ambassador for 2022. This year, 14 exceptional individuals received the title.
Their dedication to their work, international involvement and persistence helped Slovenia host international scientific, professional and other business and sports events in the past years. The Slovenian Ambassador Programme was launched for the first time in 2019 with the support of the Slovenian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Ljubljana Convention Bureau at Tourism Ljubljana and destination clubs. Today, the program already encompasses 81 outstanding individuals.
The ceremonial award ceremony of honorary titles took place in Ljubljana Castle. This year’s winners received recognition and thanks for their effort in organising international events in Slovenia during challenging times.
The event was attended by many invited guests, including recipients of honorary titles from previous years, supporters of the Slovenian Ambassador Programme project, representatives of the Slovenian Tourist Board, destination clubs and project partners.
The event’s host, Fredi Fontanot, Acting Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau, welcomed the participants in his introductory speech and highlighted the importance and the importance of connecting and maintaining contacts within the Slovenian Ambassador Programme.
Fredi Fontanot said: “Over 80 exceptional individuals are already involved in the Slovenian Ambassador Programme, now running for the fourth year, which can be considered a great success. With their professional work abroad, congress ambassadors strengthen the image of Slovenia as a congress destination. They are the ones who, with their reputation and recognition, best represent Slovenia, its values, knowledge and potential. Together, we are responsible for the fact that Slovenia is gaining an increasing reputation in the international environment. Despite the fact that the last two years have been extremely difficult for the congress industry, I am sure that we are on the right track to return to the situation before the epidemic. We can achieve this together through cooperation, integration and trust.”
The audience was also addressed by MSc. Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board and Jan Oršič, head of the Slovenian Convention Bureau at Tourism Ljubljana.
The representatives of six destination clubs from Ljubljana, Maribor, Vipava & Nova Gorica, Portorož, Bled and Kranjska Gora also showed their thanks and support to this year’s winners.
This year’s recipient of the honorary congress ambassador title was Professor Adolf Lukanović, who organised many international congresses in the field of medicine in his career. He is the president of the Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Slovenia, the founder and president of the Urogynecology Society, a founding member of The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), a member of the International Urogynecology Association (IUGA), and the president of the accreditation commission of the European Association for EUGA Urogynecology.
At the end of October, the seven-member jury of the Slovenian Ambassador Program, comprising representatives of the destination clubs and the Slovenian Convention Bureau, confirmed 14 winners of the honorary title, among whom the majority were nominees from the field of scientific and professional congresses. One nominee came from the field of sports, and one from the field of economics.
Find the full list of recipients here.
A support pillar for scientific, professional and other business and sports events
The program promotes Slovenia as a destination for the organisation of international scientific and other business events, which create excellent opportunities for networking, the flow of knowledge, innovation and exchange of experience, as well as the establishment of long-term international connections in various professional fields. The activities encourage the promotion of selected scientific and professional sectors, economy and sports, where Slovenia has reputable and successful experts.
With professional, marketing and other support to individual doctors, scientists, professors, experts and athletes, who are pivotal in attracting international events, the Slovenian Convention Bureau can support a large number of bids in cooperation with destination clubs and partners. Thus, the number of international events in Slovenia increases. At the same time, the Programme raises the competitiveness and reputation of our destination globally.
“Slovenian tourism in the strategic period 2022-2028 follows the vision of a green boutique destination with a smaller footprint and greater value for everyone. The tourism strategy defines the meetings industry as one of the leading products of Slovenian tourism. It is a tourist product with extremely high added value and many multiplier effects. Business meetings contribute to the dispersion of tourist flows throughout Slovenia, and throughout the year, they are characterised by an above-average length of stay of guests,” explained MSc. Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board.
She added: “We want the participants of events and meetings to return to Slovenia as tourists and to impress their families, friends, colleagues and partners with their visit. The Slovenian Congress Ambassador Programme, which has been running since 2019 with the support of the Slovenian Tourist Board, opens up many possibilities for promoting Slovenian knowledge and achievements both domestically and internationally. Congress ambassadors, each in their own field of expertise, with their work significantly strengthen the reputation of Slovenia as a country and as an excellent destination for business meetings and events. Together, we create higher quality tourism, a generator of value, an accelerator of sustainable development, well-being and culture, with positive effects for everyone.”
MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism, pointed out the role of the Slovenian Congress Ambassadors of Slovenia in a broader sense: “These exceptional individuals, with their active and long-term activities in the international scientific-professional, cultural, business and also sports environment, strengthen the position of Ljubljana and Slovenia as one of the centres of intellectual capital, innovation and sustainable and regenerative development in the wider region. I am proud that most of this year’s recipients of this honorary title work as members of the University of Ljubljana or nationally important scientific-research, economic and cultural institutions based in our city, which supports the further development of Ljubljana as a leading Slovenian congress destination. I believe that the recognition and competitiveness of our country as an excellent host of international events will get an additional boost through the Slovenian Congress Ambassador Programme.”