Sustainable Tourism Development in the Danube Region: New Perspectives 2017-05-11T12:24:49+00:00


Sustainable Tourism Development in the Danube Region: New Perspectives

Belgrade, Serbia, 29 June – 30. June 2017

The Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Danube Region: New Perspectives which is taking place in the framework of the International Danube Day is organized by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the name of German Development Cooperation.

The aim of the Conference is to lay the policy and strategic groundwork for the development of joint sustainable tourism products and marketing platforms in the Danube Region and beyond.

The participants of the Conference will have chance to discuss joint policies and strategies which could be used in laying the framework for sustainable tourism development, investment and promotion in the Danube Region and beyond. They would have opportunity to address key issues such as skills development, sustainability, transnational cooperation and innovation, with the aim to identify flagship projects for transnational cooperation in the Danube Region and beyond.

Considering the United Nations’ (UN) designation of the 2017 as The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, this is an appropriate momentum to perceive the current situation in tourism, to share experiences and ideas regarding the advantage of a rapidly evolving tourism sector, gearing to a joint agreement on main priorities.

The Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Danube Region: New perspectives, will gather tourism policymakers and decision-makers, as well as other public and private sector stakeholders from the Danube Region and beyond.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 – Hyatt Regency Belgrade Hotel

08:30 – 09:45

Technical meeting (invitation only)

  • Representatives of the EU Parliament and Parliamentary Committees (national, regional) in charge for tourism
  • Representatives of EU and other key institutions (ETC, RCC, etc)

Sustainable Tourism Development In The Danube Region: New Perspectives

09:00 – 10:00

Registration of participants

10:00 – 11:00

Opening Ceremony

Mr Rasim Ljajic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications

After a long journalist career, in 2000, he was appointed Minister for National and Ethnic Communities in the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and shortly after, in 2003, Minister of Human and Minority Rights in the Serbia and Montenegro Council of Ministers. He was also in charge of Serbia’s cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as well as Minister of Labor and Social Politics in the Government of the Republic of Serbia. In 2012, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Minister of Foreign and Domestic Trade and Telecommunications. Since 2014, as Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, he added tourism to his scope of work. He graduated from the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Medicine.

  • Ms. Corina Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, European Commission (TBC)
  • Mr. Axel Dittmann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Serbia, (on behalf of German Development Cooperation) (TBC)
  • Ms. Karla Hershey, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Serbia
  • Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO

11:00 – 13:00

High Level panel

The High Level panel will address the necessary strategic policy and a business-environment required for enhanced transnational collaboration in the Danube Region and beyond with a view to encourage sustainable tourism development and enhanced tourism promotion and positioning. Participants shall also address prerequisites needed for attracting larger investment and funding in sustainable tourism-related projects.

Moderator: Mr. Dirk Glaesser, Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism programme, UNWTO


  • Representatives of Tourism Ministries and National Tourism Authorities
  • Prof. Slobodan Unkovic, PhD, deputy president of the National Council for Tourism Development, Serbia

Reading of the Joint Statement on Sustainable Tourism in the Danube Region


Media statements

13:00 – 14:30

Lunch break

14:30 – 16:00

Panel Session: Investing in People: Bridging the Skills Gap

The panel will address the ways how the tourism industry, government and academia will work together to ensure that future tourism employees are given holistic, industry-centric educational experience, specifically tailored to fit the industry’s requirement. Also, what is necessary for improvement of both the reality and the perception of tourism-related jobs?

Moderator: Dr. Edit Szivas, UNWTO.Themis Foundation


  • Mr. Alain Dupeyras, Head of Tourism Unit, OECD (TBC)
  • Mr. Christian de Barrin, CEO, HOTREC (TBC)
  • Mr. Robert Gasser, General Manager, Marriot Belgrade
  • Dr. Georgi Genov, Director, HORES

16:00 – 16:30

Signing Ceremony-Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics


Meet in the Hotel lobby for departure to the Gala Dinner at the Royal Palace, Belgrade (by invitations only)

19:00 – 19:30

Guided tour of the Royal Palace

19:30 – 22:00

Gala Dinner (by invitations only)

Friday, 30 June 2017 – Hyatt Regency Belgrade Hotel – Cruising Boat


Meet in the hotel lobby for departure to “Hands-on experience sessions” (bus transfer)

10:00 – 10:30

Visit to the archeological site “The Golubac fortress”


Embarkation on the cruising boat

11:00 – 12:30

Panel session: “Development and promotion of Danube transnational tourism products”

With the great cultural and natural diversified offer in the Danube Region, transnational tourism products present great potential for enhancing the attractiveness, competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in the area. This session will explore some key transnational product opportunities, as well as the conditions (institutional, financial, legal, etc.) required to realize their full potential. It will also consider how the transnational products can contribute to the marketing and promotion of the Danube Region and beyond to regional and long-haul markets.

Moderator: Ms. Gordana Plamenac, Chair of the Board of Directors, Danube Competence Center


  • Mr. Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission
  • Mr. Oliver Fodor, Chief Advisor, Hungarian Tourism Agency
  • Mr. Tom Buncle, Managing Director, Yellow Railroad
  • Mr. Ljubisa Nesovanovic, Director, Robinson Travel

12:30 – 14:30


14:30 – 16:00

Panel session: “Bringing heritage to life through the Creative Industries”

Cultural tourism plays a leading role in creating new socioeconomic opportunities for tourism development at local, regional and national level. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include two targets (8.9 and 12.b) calling for tourism to create jobs that promote local culture and products. The participants will look for the way how linkages between tourism and creative industries, such as science, technology and the arts represent an opportunity for creating new and innovative forms of cultural tourism experiences. It will discuss what policies and actions are required to develop supply chains linking producers, consumers and places which fully exploit the added value potential of the creative industries.

Moderator: Dr. Walter Putschogl, Director, Upper Austria Landmuseum


  • Mr. Eric Phillipart, Deputy Head of Unit, “Tourism and Cultural. Instruments” Unit, DG GROW, European Commission (TBC)
  • Mr. Peter DeBrine, Senior Project Officer, UNESCO World Heritage Centre (TBC)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Lee, Vice President, CyArk
  • Mr. Bora Dimitrijevic, archeologist, former director of UNESCO site Felix Romuliana


Disembark in Donji Milanovac

16:15 – 17:00

Visit to the archeological site Lepenski Vir


Departure for Belgrade


Estimated time of arrival

Transfer to the airport / Free time. Overnight

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Hyatt Regency Belgrade Hotel

Milentija Popovica 5 Belgrade, Serbia

Hyatt Regency Belgrade is the preferred upscale hotel for leisure and business travellers, conveniently located only 15 minutes away from Belgrade airport, in the heart of New Belgrade, the capital’s main business and entertainment district.

Spacious and comfortable 302 modern rooms and suites, with exclusive Regency Club level, enable a seamless and enjoyable experience, together with over 1,039 square meters of flexible meeting and events facilities.

The property also features three on-site restaurants and bars, serving Serbian and international dishes, fresh pastries, cocktails… with plenty of places to relax: an indoor swimming pool, a whirlpool bath, steam rooms, saunas and a 24-hour gym.