Annual Congress of the German Tourism Association
The Annual Congress of the German Tourism Association, held in a different country every year, gathers together around 1,000 owners, managers and representatives of a large number of tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, and supporting industries. The lobbying and fight over the hosting of this event have been going on for years, as the hosting destination always sees a great increase in the number of German tourists in the subsequent years. The three-day congress is planned in great detail by DRV, while the evening programme organized by the host is subject to DRV’s approval.
After the congress in South Korea, the following DRV congress, organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro, was held between 15 and 17 November 2012 in Budva. The preparations for this three-day event lasted exactly one year, and the AMC Director had to attend the congress in South Korea.
The terms of reference required the organization of three thematic evenings (Welcome, Networking and Gala Dinner) at three different hotels, with three hours as the minimum duration of the programme, which had to be at a high artistic level, easily comprehensible and very interesting.
Given that the project involved the presentation of a small nation to one of the largest powers in the global tourism industry, the agency had a ‘multi-layered’ client base: the Tourism Organization of Budva, de iure, and the Ministry of Tourism and DRV, de facto.
We offered the following solution to the client: the Welcome Dinner to be planned as the host’s evening – the Heritage of Montenegro, the Networking Dinner as a Masked Ball, and the Gala Dinner as an Arts Gala Evening
The proposed concept allowed us to turn the more than 11 hours of the show programme into a presentation of the culture of the Region and include a number of leading artists from Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro within the programme.
The Heritage of Montenegro – a marching band, and a cappella group, and a duo famous for the hit song “Reggeton Montenegro”, although this was initially opposed by a DRV representative. On the other hand, the German managers responded to the performance by the “Who See” band with a standing ovation
The Masked Ball, always a risky form of event, was a great success contrary to the DRV’s expectations. German carnival music could be heard while approaching the hotel (but not inside), while the guests were obliged to put on masks at the entrance (Germans are very obedient). Two large carnival groups from Kotor and Budva participated in the event, bringing with them samples of traditional food and serving it in the carnival fashion, while the guests were entertained by the excellent bands: Cubissmo from Zagreb and the Montenegro Singers from Budva. The highlight of the programme was the part when all the waiters – who had been practicing for seven days – laid their trays down and danced “Gangam Style!”
The Gala Evening – featuring some of the best performers from the region: the guitar duo Nikčević-Bulatović, Ana Rucner, Studio Alektik, Nežni i neizbežni, Alternacija, and Ples na svili.
The result of the event: all 4 of our clients were very satisfied, the top German managers exhilarated. And, we were pretty pleased as well :)
At the end of the day, the largest German tour operator in Montenegro, ITS REWE Group, saw a 32 percent increase in the number of guests by 31 August 2013. This percentage would have been even higher if there had been any more capacity available.