The Tourban Summit

Creating the Future of Sustainable Tourism

We spent three memorable days in Dubrovnik discussing the future of sustainable tourism and the lessons learnt throughout the Tourban project. Of course, we won’t keep all of that to ourselves so here is a recap on everything that went down during the Tourban Summit.

In short, the Tourban Summit was a fantastic culmination of more than 3 years of work involving 7 countries, 60 SMEs and more than 40 motivated mentors. For three days straight in February we inspired each other, shared knowledge across country boarders and of course did a bunch of networking.

On the first official day of the summit Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik Mrs Jelka Tepšić welcomed our delegation of more than 100 SMEs and experts within the tourism sector to Dubrovnik. In her speech she thanked Tourban for putting a spotlight, not only on Dubrovnik and the cities immense tourism potential, but on sustainable tourism as a whole. She highlighted the importance of initiatives like Tourban to spread knowledge on both the needs and challenges of the industry and underlined the impact that such projects have on the local ecosystem. 

Following the Deputy Mayor was Andreas Koch Managing Director at blueContec. Andreas was not only invited as keynote speaker of the summit but has also mentored several of the Tourban SMEs throughout the programme. With his inspiring storytelling he brought the audience together in a common understanding of how to boil down the many challenges of creating a sustainable tomorrow into five simple steps.

5 reasons why sustainability is a success factor for any tourism business.

  • Cost efficiency
  • Free marketing
  • Attractive workplace
  • Authentic experiences
  • Best answer to trends

As this summit was all about knowledge sharing and learning from peers all over Europe the rest of the programme was packed with interactive sessions allowing participants to connect and share experiences on different levels. Everything from SME speed dating, panel discussions and workshops to challenge based discussion rounds took place over the course of the day.

When in Dubrovnik one does not simply stay in a conference room, even when the programme is interesting. Our Croatian partners had therefore made sure that all participants got to see some of Dubrovnik’s more unique experiences. In collaboration with Tourban SME Majeutika ltd participants of the summit got to enjoy a special evening tour of the Red History Museum. Here visitors were taken from the 21st century, back to the middle of 20th century in Dubrovnik, Croatia Yugoslavia. Communists and Miss Universe, secret police, and rock n’ roll and experiencing everyday life in an experimental socialist regime that was born from and ended by ruthless war, was part of the tour.

The day ended at Dubrovnik Beer Company, another local entrepreneur, who shared their story and welcomed participants with a pub-quiz on Dubrovnik to really test the listening abilities of the summit participants.

Day two included tours of the Dubrovnik city center. Whether you were a hard-core Game of Thrones fan or historically interested, the local tour guides mesmerised participants with thrilling stories of the city. Eco Tuk Tours, another fellow Tourban SME gave participants a unique experience when offering their sunset tour. The tours allowed participants to continue the fruitful conversations and networking.

Summing up several fantastic days in Dubrovnik, we can say that the path to a sustainable future for the tourism industry will require hard work, dedication, and passionate people. However, we are certain that the changes already happening will create not just waves of change but will overflood the industries in the near future. Sustainable change comes in many form and the diversity of our SMEs show exactly why there is a need for different approached to achieve an overall common goal.

If you want to get inspired by our 60 SME projects, meet our mentors and partners remember to join the Tourbizz community and start learning and connecting. We offer free webinars and a community of more than 1300 inspiring professionals looking to make the world just a little bit more sustainable every day. You can also check out what the Tourban SMEs had to say about participating in the project and the summit in our short video interviews.