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Regionally and thematically refreshed Show open, Jakob prize awarded

28. 1. 2011
Yesterday Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre saw the first day of the Alpe–Adria: Tourism and Leisure Show and of the Boat Show. The first day, with an emphasis on business, was marked by the 1st Meeting of travel journalists FIJET of the Alps-Adriatic region, regional meeting of tourist guides, Travel Zoom - a conference on the role of marketing in tourism, and by the official opening of the Show. The day was concluded with the awards ceremony of the international Jakob prize.

On the basis of 30 years of tradition, the refreshed Tourism Show presents itself with a new name Alpe–Adria: Tourism and Leisure Show, and a new motto Relax! We're here: Alpe-Adria. It introduces a new destination starting point with the Alps-Adriatic region and Ljubljana as its centre. At the same time, it is a new challenge for the organisers and exhibitors with the tourist offer tailor-made for the visitor. As part of his opening ceremony speech, Director Iztok Bricl, MSc, also stated that ... »less than a year ago, the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre began to design a tourist Show, which would connect smaller local providers of tourist services in the Alps-Adriatic region under the motto of When the small one join together, they become large, and ensure their visibility. ... It is supported by a strong expert background of all significant tourist players in Slovenia, joined in the Expert Committee of the Show.«

The need for regional connections was also emphasised by Wolfgang Platzer, PhD, Secretary General of the Alps-Adriatic Working Community. »The Alps-Adriatic Working Community is an interregional platform for cooperation based on a rich history. It was established in 1978 in Venice and ever since it has been active in various fields, one of them being tourism, of course. The Working Community has 10 members in 5 countries – in Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Austria. We have our own Tourism project team, which is presided over by the Republic of Croatia. The activities of this project team, which meets twice a year, are currently related to various publications on the common heritage of the region, etc. ... I believe it is time to take a step further: a common approach is required for joint marketing of the entire region – the Working Community stretches from Lombardia to Hungary, from Burgenland to the far south of Croatia – on interesting tourist markets across the world. Slovenia and Croatia have already set a good example and I hope that the marketing experts from other parts of the region will join them for the benefit of all of us. We should not perceive each other only as competition. Our common Alps-Adriatic region has so much to offer,” concluded Platzer.

The Show presents 332 providers of tourist services and 20 nautical companies from the region and also from more remote destinations, such as the countries of former Yugoslavia, Spain and Turkey. The organisation of the exhibition programme of the Show is tailored to the visitor by clearly indicating which type of service a certain exhibitor provides. The visitor is guided by friendly icons and tourist guides.
Maja Pak, MSc, Director of Slovenian Tourist Board: »At the same time, another important step was made: the tourist offer of the region has neared the wishes and expectations of the contemporary tourist. Today, tourists do not seek the offer of only a single tourist provider or location – contemporary tourists seek experience, which oversteps not only regional but also national borders. Alpe-Adria Show responded to this challenge with an ambitious expansion of the concept of the Show in the space of the Alps-Adriatic region. We are pleased that the Show has already begun adhering to the principles of environmentally friendly operation and of simultaneously promoting the philosophy of sustainable development among the participants, particularly since this is the basic direction of Slovenian tourism.«

At the evening event of Alpe–Adria: Tourism and Leisure Show and the Boat Show, the winner of the Jakob prize was announced, the new international prize awarded by the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre for excellence and quality in tourism, this year in the field of gastronomy. The international jury consisting of– Jožko Sirk, innkeeper and recipient of a Michelin star from the neighbouring Italy, Denis Ivošević, representative of Croatia, and Lojze Wieser, publisher and culinary expert from Austria, and its president, Janez Bogataj, PhD – selected the winner: a project by Hotel Triglav Bled, the Cooking school of Chef Uroš Štefelin. As stated by the president of the jury, who also selected the name Jakob, »this historical personality is an allegory and a symbol of a century of travelling, of pilgrimage, of trip making – of all of that, which we today denote with a single word – tourism. Consequently, we named the prestigious award, a prize for any sort of tourist excellence, Jakob. We will award it each year for top achievements in various fields of tourist endeavours in the Alps-Adriatic area; the space representing one of the attractive regions of Europe with its rich local and regional cultures, the daily life and festivities of its inhabitants. Particularly the discovery of and learning about the latter could, and in the future should, represent the core of all tourist endeavours. … I am sure that the selected theme will cause a flood of applications already in next year! The Jakob prize is not only a recognition of innovative endeavours of all those co-designing tourism in this part of Europe, but it can also be an excellent indicator of the qualities, which enrich an individual, families and tourist groups with new discoveries and knowledge. With this, we have taken care of everything! After all, this is the fundamental starting point of contemporary tourist endeavours!” With their innovative project, the recipients of the first Jakob got to the essence of contemporary regional and local culinary addresses in tourism, as the members of the jury stated in their explanation. These particular addresses are aimed at young people between 9 and 12 years of age – the future potential tourists. The subject of the competition for the Jakob prize in the coming year will be innovative tourist programmes in the area of alternative forms of rest and relaxation.

The Show is open until Sunday. It showcases themes appropriate for all generations and is the prefect way of spending the last weekend in January. You are kindly invited!



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