Students of the University of Maribor Visited the International Tourism and Hospitality Student Congress
This year, students from the Faculty of Tourism of the University of Maribor once again attended the 3rd International Tourism and Hospitality Student Congress #MEKST201. MEKST was held in Novi Sad (Serbia) on 25-–27 November 2016. A record number of 700 students from 15 countries attended the event from. The group included 47 students of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs of the Faculty of Tourism, University of Maribor (including the students on the Erasmus exchange program from Serbia, Czech Republic, Poland and Finland).
On the first day, the students got acquainted with the major tourist attractions of Novi Sad during a short excursion. Then, a group of students from the University of Maribor continued self-acquaintance with the tourist attractions. Young people were particularly impressed with the Petrovaradin Fortress, its beauty and stunning views of Novi Sad.
The Congress created the opportunity for an intercultural dialogue with the leading experts in tourism. The key themes of the Congress were new concepts of hotel management, online advertising, and festival tourism (pdf, 148 KB). Numerous international experts presented their lectures: Rob Davidson (Greenwich University, London, UK), Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University, UK), Dušan Kovačević (director of EXIT Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia), Allan Jepson (University Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, UK), Radoslav Obradović (The Dorchester, London, UK), Jasna Potočnik Topler (Faculty of Tourism, University of Maribor).
According to the organizer of the Congress, the MEKST project aims to integrate the young people of the Balkan region and spread tolerance. The activities planned within the Congress were devoted to the creation of the Youth Union of the Balkan Region. The project, among other things, is to establish new contacts between students and plan their future meetings in order to increase the number of participants from different cultural backgrounds.
This year, students once again took part in the opening ceremony of the Congress held in the Assembly building of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina at the highest political level.
The students gained valuable experience in terms of familiarity with protocol events. The guests of the Congress were welcomed by many important officials, among them: Branislav Knežević, the Director of the Tourist Board of Novi Sad, and Rob Davidson from the University of Greenwich. All speakers noted a strong potential of young people, their knowledge and ideas, distinguished the possibility of their use in the tourism sector, and stressed the importance of knowledge transfer from the older generation of young people.
The students returned to Brežice with a gazillion of positive impressions, new experiences, vivid memories, and with prospective business relations.
The report and photos from the Congress can be viewed through this link (pdf, 1.2 MB).