3T Conference – Tourism, Travel & Tech - Slow and Uneven Recovery from COVID-19

By 30 March 2021

March 30, 2021 - The fourth 3T conference was an online event held last week that covered current topics related to the tourism sector. The tourism experts shared their opinions regarding the recovery of the tourism industry and potential market opportunities.

"When we launched the 3T conference, the idea was to creatively merge the two most important and most successful Croatian sectors - tourism and IT. Last year was hard on tourism, while tech didn't feel the consequences of the pandemic. Although nobody expected 2020 to happen, it might be even better motivation for cooperation between tech and tourism, said Oleg Maštruko, director of the conference.

The first keynote speaker was Hotel Development Specialist Zoran Pejović with the topic "How to keep the best people in tourism in the post-covid world? "Pejović pointed out the disastrous consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic related to the loss of talented staff in the tourism industry and sudden fluctuation in other activities, which will leave long-term consequences bigger than the financial losses in tourism. He said that the industry that makes up the largest share of Croatian GDP and connects numerous other sectors could not be non-essential. Finally, he talked about finding and hiring tourism staff according to the old models, which do not correspond to trends in industries that are increasingly applying digital technologies in business. 

The second keynote speaker was Robert Sedlar on Post-covid tourism, who said it would take a longer time to reach pre-pandemic tourism numbers, but this year might bring better results than 2020. After the keynote lectures, participants could hear about Smart hospitality from Siniša Staničić, who showed options for applying digital technologies in tourism.


The central part of the conference was a panel discussion How to Survive after a pandemic? Oleg Maštruko moderated the conversation, and participants were Ivan Gabrić, General Manager for Business Users of A1 Croatia, Gea Kariž, Xborder participated Marketeer At Mastercard, Andrea Andrijanić, Aviation Industry Expert, prof. dr. sc. Domagoj Bebić, associate professor at the Faculty of Political Science, and Zoran Pejović.

The afternoon part of this year's conference program included Trash Talk with the topic "Branding Croatia on the global scene". Dragan Petrić from Bug magazine and famous Croatian chef Mate Janković pointed out numerous shortcomings of branding Croatian tourist offer primarily related to Croatian cuisine. He gave ideas on branding Croatian konoba and various indigenous Croatian dishes that are not yet recognized globally. 


Other lecturers during the afternoon part of the conference included Karlo Guštin, Mirela Holy, Ilija Brajković, Robert Ilijaš, Marko Mišulić and Mosor Prvan. They all covered topics related to tourism sustainability and the potential of new technologies and digitalization in tourism. 

Hopefully, this conference inspired participants to make their tourism business more sustainable and adapt to new circumstances on the global travel market and how to resist the consequences of the pandemic by use of technology. If you want to re-watch the conference you can access it here.

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