Slovakia, as the presiding country of the V4 countries, hosted the “High level Tourism Meeting”, a meeting at the highest state level. The topic was the joint support of inbound foreign tourism in the Central European region, primarily from distant markets. In the Golden Hall in htl. Palace Art in Pezinok brought together the highest representatives of relevant ministries of V4 countries and directors of national tourism agencies.
The annex to the meeting protocol is the marketing action plan of the V4 countries for the promotion of tourism in the Central European region, aimed at distant markets – the USA, Asia (South Korea, Japan), the Middle East – Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “We have a common goal – to attract tourists from all over the world to our region. We see great potential in the V4 cooperation, because all countries have something to offer,” said State Secretary MD Katarína Bruncková , adding that the initiative was also supported by the European Tourism Commission (ETC) with a grant that we will use for a joint online campaign called Creative Cities cities), focused on America.
A project to support urban tourism
Václav Mika , general director of Slovakia.Travel , sees the joint project “Creative cities” as the strongest point of the joint action marketing plan . He thinks that it is not realistic for us to find resources and funds for Slovakia’s own campaign on the American market on all digital platforms. It would be financially demanding, economically difficult to implement, and considering the effect, he considers the common procedure more understandable. Tourists who come from afar spend a longer time with us, which allows us to move them around the region. This is exactly what the joint campaign is aiming for.
Representatives of the individual V4 states expect an increased number of visitors from more distant markets as a result of the joint project. “For example, the American market suffered probably the biggest drop from Europe’s point of view. The reasons are clear, currently it is a close war conflict in Ukraine. The result of last year’s survey of the sensitivity of the index on the American market in connection with the war conflict in Ukraine showed a high level of sensitivity, more than 60% of American respondents consider visiting countries adjacent to the conflict to be risky. It concerns not only us, but also neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The current online campaign aims to motivate them to visit and assure them that we are safe countries,” said Vladimír Mika, adding:”The mutual cooperation between our countries makes sense, because we are competitors in Europe, but we are partners in distant markets.”
In the campaign, Slovakia will focus on the promotion of three cities: Bratislava, Košice and Trenčín. Visits to cities (city beaks) represent one of the key products of Slovak tourism and one of the main motives for visits by foreign tourists. In addition, the aim of the joint campaign will be to present Central Europe not only as a destination of historical heritage, but also as a modern and vibrant destination for urban tourism enthusiasts.
Photo and text: Zlatica Kramárová