21. PUT Fair - a meaningful business meeting

Co-organised by the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, hosted by the Gradac Tourist Board, partners: HotelLabineca and Žabac Agro-Ethno Park. 

The PUT business and tourist fair, a traditional Croatian yearly business fair for travel agents, tourist service providers, tourist board employees, and tourist organisations held every year in a different Croatian destination, took place this year from 13-15 November in the Makarska Riviera at the Labineca Hotel (3*) in Gradac; it was sponsored by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism. This fair involved nearly 200 participants, representatives of roughly 100 businesses from seven Central European countries and Canada. It was a chance for all of them to directly present their travel products and exchange information about the new products and programmes they have planned for 2020.

As a part of the fair, the traditional yearly Simply the Best awards were distributed for 2019 at an official awards ceremony. This award is jointly given by the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies and Way to Croatia magazine. Awards are distributed for quality of service, creativity, innovation, the development of tourist products, and the overall tourist offerings of destinations. While exploring the destination and its tourist amenities, participants saw a new, interactive ornithological exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Metković, after which they saw another new tourist offering in the Neretva Valley – Žabac Agro-Ethno Park. This was followed by a relaxed meal with Neretva Valley specialities prepared at Konoba Lancarica, which included music and a lovely programme put on by the members of a local culture and arts ensemble.

The traditional team building programme was especially interesting and entertaining; it is held on the second day of the fair in order to allow participants to get to know the host destination in a meaningful, active way. Participants learned about the local heritage and sights on a tour of the best-known cultural monument of central Dalmatia – the Franciscan St. Mary's Monastery in nearby Zaostrog – and a walk through Gradac, during which they solved tasks related to life and traditions in the region. The third day of the fair featured a workshop discussing topics related to the theoretical and practical approach to destination quality management and challenges in the experience economy in 21st-century tourism.  

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