Last week, Dr Samantha Chaperon and I, from the University of Greenwich, presented at the Belgrade Tourism Conference 2015, which was being held alongside the Belgrade Tourism Fair. We were invited to speak by Serbia4Youth, an amazing organisation who are working to present Serbia as a destination for young people from across Europe and beyond.
Serbia4Youth brought together a group of academics for an event that was opened by Gordana Plamanec, the Managing Director of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia. As well as Samantha and I, delegates heard from Rob Davidson (MICE Knowledge) and Dr Melanie Smith (Budapest Business School), Miha Lesjak (University of Primorska, Slovenia) and Milan Stojkovic (Tourism Management Consultant).
The conference was one of the most interesting tourism events that I’ve been involved in for a long time – a chance to hear from academics in a region that is often under-represented in academic circles and to listen to the views of young people from the region about how they see the future of tourism and their own careers. I learnt about the extent and significance of spa and health tourism in south-eastern Europe and the innovative marketing of the European Basketball Championships in Solvenia in 2013, as well as the factors affecting tourism entrepreneurship in the region. You can view our presentations below:
Dr Samantha Chaperon: Tourist Destination Image – Young People’s Perceptions of Serbia
James Kennell: Cultural Tourism and Urban Regeneration in Europe – Lessons for Serbia
As well as a great conference, our hosts showed us some of the traditional culture of Serbia and took us to some of their other events for young people in the city. Belgrade has so much to offer young people as a destination, not least its nightlife! We tried to keep up, but eventually gave in and saved our energy for sightseeing…