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ČATEŽ, Meetologue 2014

November 4, 2014

DESTINATIONS MEETOLOGUE, SLOVENIA

TOURIST GAZELLE 

Almost not a year passes without a summit of Slovenian and Croatian politicians at the Mokrice castle. Just off the Croatian-Slovenian border the location has played host to a number of historical events. The idyllic setting of the castle with the golf course and castle park is the flagship of the region’s congress offer and in Slovenia it has no equal. A visit to the Lower Posavje is difficult to imagine without a visit to the thermal Riviera, but congress organisers will also get what they specifically came looking for. With our own eyes, however, we were convinced that Čatež and Brežice offer much more.

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It is worth mentioning that Brežice and its hinterland is a rich landscape and a varied destination rich in history as well as natural and cultural attractions. Brežice and Čatež are a part of the Krško-Brežiška basin, characterized by the specific landscape at this border location, with Gorjanci at the southern part and the vineyard-covered Obsotla hills to the north. The region is defined by the Sava and Krka rivers, the entire region getting its name from the Sava River. The Bizeljsko vineyard is particularly interesting, extremely diverse and attractive to tourists.

Mokrice Castle – Today the castle hosts a high-class hotel. Behind the thick walls, the intertwining hallways lead to period rooms, apartments in towers, halls, premises for social events and a restaurant. Guests enjoy the compete serenity of the castle environment.

The centre of the region is the municipal centre of Brežice, which is the administrative, economic, cultural and tourist centre of the lower Posavje. A water tower built in 1914 is the symbol of the city and the old town centre is well worth a visit, with a special seal given to Brežice castle from the 11th century and the old, carefully renovated houses, amongst which the old pharmacy stands out, the oldest preserved house in Brežice. Compact and very nicely arranged, it has everything that larger cities offer.

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Bizeljsko – discovering the surroundings of Brežice is a wonderful gastronomic experience – we recommend a visit to the Bizeljsko-Sremič wine road with its friendly wineries. 

Transport accessibility is good, as 10 pan-European transport corridors from Salzburg to Thessaloniki run through the area, yet most convention guests arrive in Čatež by car. It seems that Zagreb is closer to Čatež and Brežice than Ljubljana, as the frontier there is only a little hold up at both sides of the border. Other traffic infrastructure is relatively well developed, including public transport to the main tourist attractions.

The main tourist and congress provider is Terme Čatež, which in addition to the Čatež spa also manages the Mokrice castle and is the largest natural spa in Slovenia. Tourism has developed thanks to the thermal springs by the Sava River, which were already discovered 200 years ago. The philosophy of well-being is also a part of the congress story of the destination. Within the context of the entire municipality Brežice otherwise operates 6 hotels, four of which are the 4 stars category (Terme hotel, Spa hotel, Golf hotel Mokrice and hotel Splavar). In addition, at Terme Čatež there is an apartment complex with 60 apartments. The Čatež Thermal Riviera is itself one of the largest in the region, with nine thermal pools and numerous attractions on more than 10,000 m2. In addition to summer the Winter Thermal Riviera with 1,800 m2 of water surface is operating all year round.

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Villa Istenič – Wine conference tourism at the entrance to the Bizeljsko wine-growing area. The Istenič Villa concept revolves around the luxurious nature of the building, with its refined details, which fulfil every wish for relaxation and recreation in an elegant but comfortable way.  They were the first to create a good reputation with the production of high quality sparkling wines

Terme do not lack innovation, as every year they surprise us with new products, examples that are also suitable for conference guests including the Indian village and pirate bay. Terme and Brežice are also very nicely arranged and offer diverse sports-recreational facilities. This makes it an ideal place for recreation and the preparation of top athletes. In addition to other famous clubs the team of Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) and the Croatian national football team have trained and prepared in Terme. The restaurant offer is extensive, not missing a variety of adventure and animation programmes for all generations.

Conference halls in the Mokrice castle are suitable for smaller business, protocol and social gatherings, with the Knights’ Hall having a capacity of 40 participants, the Four Seasons Hall 60 guests and the smaller Masonic star hosting 10 guests. The most prominent of the event spaces is the acoustic hall Four Seasons. Congresses can also be organised in the Club house.

Golf Grad Mokrice – Under the medieval walls of the Mokrice Castle, an 18-hole golf course spreads over 47 hectares in the midst of centennial forests which makes it one of the most beautiful golf course in Slovenia

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The Congress Centre in Čatež consists of seven conference halls and meeting rooms. The biggest multipurpose hall can take up to 900 guests. The Convention Centre at Terme Hotel offers four meeting rooms, the largest hall accommodating 200 participants. The Multipurpose Hall at the Spa Hotel can accommodate up to 900 guests and is technically flexible. The Red Hall at Čatež Hotel can accommodate a maximum of 60 guests. All of these facilities are within the tourist complex of Terme Čatež and they can be properly combined according to the needs of different events.

In the Lower Sava valley can be found one of the largest concentrations of beautifully landscaped medieval castles in Slovenia. In addition to Mokrice it is possible to organise an event in Castle Brežice, home to the Posavski museum and famous for its Baroque paintings in the Knight’s Hall. It is the largest and most beautifully painted hall in Slovenia, where the legendary Brežice festival takes place in the summer. The renaissance Bizeljsko castle in a scenic location can be a special venue for an evening reception. Especially interesting is the renaissance arcaded courtyard with its stone cistern. The Klakočar wine cellar operates in the southern part of the castle.

Jovsi Natural Park – Jovsi is a vast area of moored grasslands along the Sotla river, protected as a monument of nature and area of Natura 2000. It is the home to several rare and endangered species

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The natural environment by the Krka river, the Sava river and Sotla river has created a number of nice corners to implement teambuilding programmes or for congress participants socialising events. Terme Čatež also generates almost endless possibilities for the organisation of incentive programmes.

Switching from congress tourism to culinary arts, this is one of the most interesting Slovenian regions, which can nicely complement your event. The restaurant fat guy is among the top Slovenian restaurants. Restaurant Šekoranja in Bizeljsko is also a restaurant classic.

Overall the main advantages in terms of congress tourism are a favourable geostrategic position of the border location, close to Zagreb international airport and favourable natural conditions with high tourist potential. In addition, thanks to large investments it provides a variety of accommodation facilities, a welcome boon for conference guests with different purchasing power. An arranged congress centre, multipurpose hall and the Mokrice golf course work together to offer many innovative combinations.

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Destination mark: 3,89– QUALITY MEETING DESTINATION

Marks:
5 excellent meeting destination
4 quality meeting destination
3 recommendable meeting destination
2 average meeting destination
1 passable

Individual grades: 

A. Natural and cultural factors: 4,35
Most natural attractions in the Sava valley are in the municipality Brežice, making it known as an area with rich natural resources. A clean, pristine and ecologically unburdened area that can be nicely connected in interesting meetings and incentive products.

B. General and transport infrastructure: 4,41
Lower Sava valley has an important geostrategic position, because there are important rail and road links with good connections with European centres. The municipality is also intensively considering the local cycling infrastructure that will securely connect Čatež and Brežice.

C. Tourist infrastructure: 4,26
The common thread of tourism development is the thermal water and Terme Čatež company, which is a recognized brand in the region. They have developed an attractive, comprehensive and diverse tourist offer for all ages.

D. Meetings infrastructure :3,98
Čatež offers everything like much more developed congress destinations but in a very small area, from protocol meetings to a rich offer of teambuilding programmes. Together with the possibility of connecting with other authentic products of the Lower Posavje it is a true congress surprise.

E. Subjective grade: 4,35
A safe and enjoyable convention destination, where you will get for your money much more than in more established convention centres of Slovenia. In addition to the proverbial friendliness and hospitality of the locals there is also a business-orientation and professionalism of providers at a high level.

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Comparison with the region:
Another convention destination of Slovenia, which according to the capacity, integrity of the offer and convenience is often overlooked. Lower Sava valley is mainly thanks to the proactive Terme Čatež a very competitive convention destination. Improvement is needed, however, especially in its image, as at first one does not think of it in terms of congress tourism.

Cool meetings:
The only indigenous species of Slovenian pig, the “Krško polje” was strenuously maintained and is increasingly appreciated. You will soon find it yourself in pubs and restaurants.

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About Gorazd Čad

Gorazd Čad is a veteran convention tourism addict. Founder and owner of the marketing and congress agency TOLERANCA MARKETING, he has numerous years of experience in the planning, preparation and execution of major international trade shows and fairs. Having started his career in Cankarjev dom, where he project-led on fairs such as Infos, Kapital, Bits & Fun, Slovenian Wine Festival and many others, work in his private capacity has given him a long and multi-faceted experience of developing B2B trade shows, the most noteworthy of these being Conventa, Space, Natour and Hot-Rest. B2B selling solutions sit at the heart of the action of his work and are the key specialisation with proven added value and measurable results.

View all posts by Gorazd Čad

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