Lumen 2 Editors' Note
As human beings, we are programmed to look at the world from our own personal, narrow perspective. Thinking about business travel brought back memories of the many hours I spent packing and unpacking that ever-shrinking carry-on, getting in and out of taxis, checking in, boarding, fighting dry air on the planes, seats with not enough leg room, navigating hotel lobbies to get to meetings, meetings and more meetings in air-conditioned closed spaces, work dinners, and hotel rooms that look exactly like the previous one...
Those who travel for business certainly know that most of the time, business travel is not fun.
When we started preparing this issue of Lumen, it became clear that business people and their travel habits and expectations are changing and evolving. Therefore, the industries that cater for business travellers are shifting profoundly. No longer is it enough to invite people to the usual meeting places simply by booking tickets, hotel rooms and organizing logistics. The business traveller of today is increasingly looking for smart choices, new ideas and knowledge sharing accompanied with unique experiences, which will make them want to return frequently to hear and learn more.
We have focused this issue on the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition industry (MICE) and have looked at the opportunities and challenges of this sector within Serbia and the region. Jasna Dimitrijevic and Dejan Veselinov write about the MICE industry in Serbia that’s attracting an increasing number of international exhibitions as a way to gain business experience and present research.
The preconditions for the development of the MICE industry include good transport connections to other destinations worldwide, particularly airlines, and the proximity of the airport to the venue. For Serbia, a new era for the aviation industry came with the transformation of JAT into Air Serbia. In an exclusive interview given to Lumen, Air Serbia CEO Dane Kondic talks about the modernization of the company, the new fleet, the constantly rising number of passengers, and Belgrade as an important travel and business hub in the region.
Cultural heritage and the prospect of unique experiences can also be critical for the MICE sector success. The new trend in the MICE industry is finding attractive locations other than hotels and convention centres. It goes hand in hand with a new movement of taking it slow and disconnecting as a much-needed antidote to our logged-on lives. Sasa Arsic visited three locations that combine meeting facilities with supreme local food, comfortable accommodation inspired by local tradition, space for exercise and play, and numerous adventure possibilities. He brings ideas for inspiring stay - no matter if you plan to rest, analyse, plot new business ideas, or take a break with your team to work out strategies.
In cooperation with our partners Square Nine and Etihad, Lumen brings recommendations of destinations, hotels and the best team building experiences. You can choose to read about travel in Roman times or look into the future of nation branding and Istria’s tourism strategy.
Throughout the issue, we have tried to talk about those glorious moments of business travel when you meet people who inspire you and live experiences that change you forever. It’s those moments which make you believe again in the sentence from Henry Miller “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”