Meet the speakers of 22nd Slovenian Tourism Forum

Wednesday, 13 November 2019, Grand hotel Union, Union Hall

At the 22nd Slovenian Tourism Forum this time, redesign of tourism in the eyes of consumers and service providers in tourism will be at the forefront. Who is the modern traveler, what is he looking for, and above all, what digital channels is he using? How has his behavior and purchasing path been influenced by the development of modern technology? The changing habits of tourists must also be adapted to the economy and service providers. The second part of the forum will therefore present successful examples of destinations and businesses that have found the answers to the questions above. For a successful future, especially if we want to follow the set strategy and raise the value and quality of Slovenian tourism, therefore sustainability, innovation and openness to change will be essential.

Detailed program


Nick Hall

Digital Tourism Think Tank

With a background in digital marketing in the tourism industry of more than a decade, Nick is one of the tourism industry’s leading experts on destination marketing. As founder of the Digital Tourism Think Tank (#DTTT), the leading platform connecting destinations worldwide on topics around digital trends and transformation, Nick has worked with hundreds of destinations helping to navigate the complexities of an increasingly digital visitor experience.

Through his work heading up the #DTTT, Nick has led the industry to think about the importance of digital transformation and the impact the ‘always on’ visitor, the multi-touchpoint path to purchase and the need for organisations to think differently about their approach. He has led the industry to understand and think about the value of design as a method to tackle the questions brought about in an era of exponential change. At the core of Nick’s message and expertise is the need to stay current, on par with consumer trends, and foster a culture of innovation to remain competitive.

Nick and his team connect thousands of tourism professionals each year, through the flagship #DTTT Global, Campus and leading industry sessions around the world. Fostering partnerships with both industry leaders and digital leaders, Nick has led his team and the #DTTT to become the leading thinkers on how digital is impacting the visitor experience.

Nick is a sought after keynote speaker with hundreds of engagements to his name, speaking extensively and industry and digital conferences all over the world.

Targeting the Refined Consumer - Premium Travel Experiences in the Age of Digital

In the many waves of travel and consumer trends, we have seen our visitors shift from package tourism, to independent travel, from low-cost, to high-value and from traditional markets and segments, to interest driven verticals and value seeking millennials.

Today, we are once again in a truly new era of travel. How do we adapt, tailor and strengthen our offer for two growing segments with polarised characteristics; rising travel from emerging markets and a maturing of interests and experiences sought from existing markets. Beyond everything, digital is the fabric which weaves everything together, how as Destinations can we find the right market for us and maximise the use of digital to get us there?



Mladen Ljubišić Linkedin

Mladen Ljubisic has been active in tourism throughout his career, first as a tour guide in Europe, then in marketing for a recognizable travel agency. In London, he served as sales manager for one of the largest hospitality companies in the UK, working in partnership with Jumerirah hospitality in the UAE and based in Dubai, and in 2016 he joined the STB as Head of Tourist Info Point for the marketing and promotion of Slovenian tourism based in London, UK. As an enthusiast for new technologies, he collaborated with Google at the time, working in their accelerator for high-tech start-ups, especially in testing technology solutions for tourism and hospitality. It deals with innovative ways of marketing and promotion in foreign markets and in Slovenia, using new and disruptive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and the use of blockchain technology in business models.


Coley Dale Linkedin

Coley Dale is a Senior Director for Strategic Partnerships with the Ctrip Group. Having worked in Shanghai with Ctrip for 11 years across a variety of functions, he now based in Barcelona and focuses on work with Skyscanner and broader European opportunities for the group.


Ana Praprotnik, Director of Marketing at Sava Tourism d.d. Linkedin

In love with life. Infinitely positive. I believe in the goodness of people forever. I always save the world. Challenges are the challenge of life. Analytically analytical. Strategically practical. With small steps it comes a long way. Curious across borders. Busy. I love books forever. With sports and socializing I clear my head. Good food and a good glass of sparkling wine is my obsession. Faithful. A sworn marketer. Passionately committed to marketing. But to the right one, the strategic one, the one who really counts the consumer and the one who has the common sense.



Ana Savšek, Head of Digital Content Marketing Department STB Linkedin

Digital media, websites and applications, social networks, media library, marketing, publications etc.; this is the daily routine of the Digital Content Marketing Department and Ana Savšek as Head of Department. They plan and implement promotion via digital and social media, develop, design and edit the website, newsletters, electronic and printed publications and other supporting marketing tools for user communication. These are the tasks of a “bold, adept team, which is constantly keeping pace with trends and seeking the best creative solutions”.  Head of Department Ana Savšek believes that “the opportunity to cooperate with global multinational companies and create good visible projects” is a satisfying challenge.


Zenel Batagelj, CEO company Valicon Linkedin

Zenel Batagelj is the Founder and Partner at VALICON, where he specializes in advising key clients in marketing, branding and growth strategies. He is one of the most prominent SEE experts in this field.
Recently, he has been deeply involved in architecture, identity and brand management, as well as the integration of branding with consumer experience management in the broadest sense. It helps brands reinvigorate meaning. He is particularly attracted to startups with a focus on distributed systems such as blockchain. Using innovative methods such as LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, real-time strategies, and archetype application, significant strategic decision-making processes have been accelerated.
He is a good connoisseur of both Slovenian and regional consumers, and more broadly. He is an active member of the Slovenian Marketing Association and a frequent lecturer at major marketing events in the region and beyond (SMK, SEEMAR, SKOJ, Marketing Summit, ESOMAR), Advertising Personality in 2015 ... He also has publications in numerous international peer-reviewed journals. , including co-author of a chapter of a work published at the prestigious Wiley.
In the field of tourism, he is a long-time associate of the most prominent companies in tourism, HIT and Lifeclass, co-author of RNUST 2007-2011 in the field of marketing, is a member of the World Trade Council's expert panel and co-author of person tourism in Slovenia. Piran / Portoroz. 

How to find, address and attract a high value guest?

Different moderators will present their views and experiences in addressing more demanding guests in a moderated conversation. Who are they, what makes them different from the usual tourist and what are the most effective ways of promotion?


Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir

Promote Iceland

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir - PR manager, Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland. Sigríður has worked in Icelandic tourism for many years. Before her role at Visit Iceland she worked at Visit Reykjavik managing PR and before that she was general manager at Vatnajokull Region, a tourism-, food- and culture cluster in Southeast Iceland.

Reinventing nation branding: Creative Economies, Sustainable Tourism & Responsible Foreign Investments 

Sigríður will talk about the development of the tourism industry in Iceland in recent years with its challenges and opportunities. She will also talk about how Visit Iceland has worked with stakeholders and public private partnership. She will then discuss how Icelandic tourism is preparing for the future with focus on sustainability.


Guy Bigwood

GuBi Consulting and the Global Destinations Sustainability Index 

For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, associations and the hospitality industry step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and operational practices. 

He is a recognised expert on creating sustainable destinations, communities and events through multi stakeholder collaboration. Guy is also the Managing Director of the Global Destinations Sustainability Index; a multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the development and performance of sustainable business tourism destinations. Today over 60 cities are participating in the

Guy is a passionate and outstanding communicator, who has delivered over 400 keynote presentations and facilitated workshops engaging over 35,000 participants in more than 40 countries. Guy’s pioneering work has been recognised with 21 sustainability awards.

Please connect with Guy on, Twitter @guybigwood or guy.bigwood@gds-index.comor on his blog 

Session summary

Climate, social and economic mega-changes require that destinations and businesses rethink and redesign their tourism strategies to not only become more sustainable, but to regenerate their natural environments and communities.

In this dynamic presentation, Guy Bigwood will highlight how leading global destinations and businesses are responding to these megaforces, and how the pioneers are innovating in how they engage their stakeholders, drive extreme-collaboration, and positioning themselves to be leaders in the new sustainable brand centric and regenerative world.



Terry Stevens


Professor Terry Stevens is the founder and MD of the multi-award winning tourism consultancy, Stevens & Associates. He has now worked in over fifty five countries around the world for a wide range of international tourism development organisations, including the UNWTO and UNESCO, as well as many national, regional and local tourism organisations – including many in the Balkans. In August 2019, Terry was awarded the highly prestigious LUXLife Global Award as the world’s best tourism development expert and his Masterplan for Tourism Development in Rotorua (New Zealand) has been shortlisted as the worlds best masterplan by the World Design Organisation. Terry has been a regular visitor to Slovenia for many years as both a tourist and in his professional capacity assisting the STB and other organisations. He specialises in destination management and in tourism trend analysis.

Re-defining and re-thinking the future of tourism

The next ten to twenty years will be a period of unprecedented experimentation in tourism – a period where old formulas and ways of working will have to change to meet the needs of fast moving markets. Hybrid solutions will be needed created by hybrid thinkers. But, maybe, the future is already with us. A review of two hundred transformational tourism projects around the world has revealed an extraordinary range of novel, innovative and extravagant products created by a new generation of twenty-first century pirates – philanthropists, artists, musicians, architects, media moguls – who don’t break the rules they create new ones. The presentation will explore a sample of this hybrid projects and provoke fresh thinking about the future of sustainable tourism development in Slovenia.


DST team
Slovenska turistična organizacija

Dimičeva ulica 13, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
T: +386 (0)1 589 85 37 E:


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