Skål Congress in the European Capital of Culture: Kvarner Wins Bid for 2020!

Daniela Rogulj

When Kvarner began preparing for the demanding candidacy two years ago, imagining that they would actually win in competition with some of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world seemed like just a good dream. Yesterday, however, that dream of several Kvarner tourism visionaries became a reality.

After entering the finals, Kvarner ultimately beat out the Swiss city of Lugano to become the host of the International Skål Congress in 2020, which will be held in Opatija and Rijeka under the theme “SKÅL CONGRESS IN THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2020”, reports HRTurizam on October 20, 2018. 

This is a victory that proves that by joining forces, you can win great battles, said the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board and the president of SKÅL Klub Kvarner Irena Peršić Živadinov, who added that she was immensely proud and congratulated the whole team on their successful work, as well as everyone who believed in them and supported them.

“I believe that the status of hosting the international SKÅL congress and Rijeka’s status as the European Capital of Culture in 2020 will create great things for Kvarner tourism. Events of such profiles have immense importance for the tourism of Kvarner and Croatia. This victory is just the beginning and is an incredible obligation. In front of us is a big job of preparing the congress to present the Kvarner, especially the towns of Rijeka and Opatija, in the best light. In 2020, we will use this unique opportunity to show our Kvarner in the light it deserves,” Peršić Živadinov concluded.

A series of promotional presentations and workshops, with an indispensable cultural and entertainment program and a specially recorded five-minute film about the destination, all certainly contributed to Kvarner’s victory.

In the candidacy were active members of the SKÅL club Kvarner, led by club president and chairman of the Organizing Committee, who is also the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Irena Peršić Živadinov, representatives of the Kvarner Tourist Board, the City of Rijeka Tourist Board, the City of Opatija Tourist Board, and SKÅL International Croatia. Great support in preparing the presentation, lobbying and a personal presence at the congress in Kenya was given by the former president of SKAL International, Nik Račić, and Zlatan Fröhlich, President of Croatian Chamber of Economy and President of the National Council of Skål Croatia. The candidacy was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Tourist Board, HGK, MVEP, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the cities of Rijeka and Opatija, as well as many other partners.

SKÅL Club Kvarner was founded in 2010 by Katica Hauptfeld, owner of the well-known travel agency Katarina line, which then gathered some of the most influential tourist workers of Kvarner who, with their shared strength, projects and ideas, quickly became visible at the Skål International level. That is why this candidacy and coming to host the Congress in 2020 is largely due to their merit.

It is expected that during this prestigious international event in 2020, there will be about 1,000 participants in Kvarner, among which many owners of influential tourist agencies and tour operators will have the opportunity to see the tourism potential of the region.

SKÅL International, an international organization of tourist managers with around 15,000 members in over 500 clubs around the world, is the largest in the tourism sector. Members of SKÅL Club Kvarner are professionals in Kvarner tourism (hoteliers, agencies, tourist boards and others). Skål clubs Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split still operate in Croatia.


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