The College of Hotel Management hosted the 7th International Congress HOTELPLAN 2018 on November 2nd and 3rd 2018. The main theme of the Congress was Hospitality as a Quality Factor of Tourist Destination Offer and Competitiveness.
The Dean of the College of Hotel Management, Slavoljub Vićić, opened the 7th International Congress HOTELPLAN 2018, by greeting participants and guests who were mainly from the field of education and service industry. In his speech, he highlighted the success that the College had had in between the two congresses, portrayed through the fruitful international cooperation – students participating in various international competitions, the practice conducted in 17 different countries, not only in Europe, but also in the USA, China, Mexico, etc, and cooperation with other foreign educational institutions, which was depicted with the fact that the co-organizers of this year’s Congress were the College of Economy, Tourism and Social Sciences from Poland, University of Prešov, Faculty of Management from Slovakia and Tourism College of Zhejiang from P.R. of China. Among other speakers at the Opening Ceremony were H.E. Mr Li Manchang, the Ambassador of the P.R. of China in Belgrade, Ana Langović Milićević, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Belgarde, Miroslav Knežević, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommuncations, Belgrade, Marija Labović, Acting Director of the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, Srđan Kolarić, the President of the Municipality of Čukarica, Belgrade, Georgi Genov, Director of HORES, Belgrade, Slobodan Čerović, the Dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Goran Kovačević, the General Manager of the Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia Hotels and Resort, Kopaonik, Serbia, and Luka Đorđević, the President of the Students’ Parliament at the College of Hotel Management, Belgarde.
The main goal of the congress HOTELPLAN 2018 was to gather distinguished hoteliers, members of the academic and practical community, and give them an opportunity to exchange their knowledge, experience and research results in the field of the contemporary hospitality theory and practice in the form of panel discussion and paper presentation. The total number of 89 papers had arrived from 14 different countries, including Serbia, and 53 papers were written in the Serbian language, whereas 36 were written in the English language. The papers, based on their topic, were categorized into three separate thematic fields in the Congress Proceedings:
- Hospitality facilities and tourist destinations – hotels and other forms of accommodation, traditional and creative gastronomy, diversity and quality of restaurant offer;
- Tourist destination development – identity, branding, quality management, planning and sustainability;
- The use of information technology in the promotion and management of a tourist destination – digital marketing, the internet, social media, intercultural communication and foreign languages.
The main conclusions from the HOTELPLAN 2018 Congress were related to the need of the continued research of the touristic potentials of specific destinations, with highlights on the quality of the service industry offer. The importance of the local gastronomy was especially emphasized, since it contributes to profiling the authentic image of the tourist destination.