Tourism accounts for nearly 10 per cent of global GDP and 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. It is an economic powerhouse that offers opportunities to improve the lives of millions.
South-eastern Europe is no exception in this trend: tourism is growing rapidly and is making a positive contribution to the regional economy.
To reach its full potential, tourism development must be sustainable and inclusive. It needs to create employment opportunities for young people and women, support small businesses and promote the responsible and efficient management of natural resources to increase energy efficiency, protect sensitive ecosystems and safeguard cultural heritage.
Success ultimately depends on productive partnerships between the public and private sectors, financial institutions, investors and a host of other stakeholders.
This panel will explore ways in which to finance inclusive and sustainable tourism; how to build competitiveness throughout the tourism value chain, bringing in local micro, small and medium-sized businesses; and how policies and technology can improve energy efficiency and sustainability.
CEO D-Marin/Regional Director, Dogus Group
Burak Baykan is CEO of D-Marin and Regional Director of Doğuş Group, a global marina network. He started his career at Doğuş Holding (Moscow, Russia) in 2010 as Advisor to the CEO. He then became part of the group's Investment Department and acted as Regional Director for Croatia and Montenegro.
Burak is a Board member of Marina Barcelona 92 (MB92). He is also President of the Turkey-Croatia Business Council (DEIK), Executive Board member of the Turkey-Montenegro Business Council (DEIK), member of the Managing Board of Foreing Investors Council and is active in the Croatia Turkey Friendship Association.
He has a Masters in Business Administration (Moscow University Touro) and a Bachelor's degree in Politics and International Relations (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul).
Partner, Ascendant P.F.
Tarik Bilalbegović is Partner at Ascendant Project Finance, an investment banking firm that focuses on southeastern Europe. Based in Sarajevo, Tarik has over 21 years of investment banking experience in emerging markets in financing real estate, hospitality and infrastructure projects ($2 billion in aggregate) in Central America, Caribbean, and eastern Europe. In particular, he has worked on various greenfield project developments for Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, and Hilton. Specific experience includes optimising master plans’ viability and profitability through financial engineering, strategic repositioning, structuring management agreements, structuring third party operator contracts, project financing and asset management.
Presenter, BBC World News, BBC Global News Ltd.
Lucy Hockings is a lead presenter on BBC World News, anchoring its flagship programme GMT. She has anchored rolling coverage for the BBC on all the major news events of the past decade - from the Asian tsunami to the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. In 2016, she played a central role in the BBC's coverage of the US Presidential election.
Lucy has interviewed everyone from presidents and prime ministers to film stars and decision makers and has extensive contacts in governments, NGOs and international organisations who act as valuable on-air sources. She also anchors major news events on location.
She was awarded the prestigious position of Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, in recognition of her work in broadcasting with young, aspiring journalists.
Director, Property & Tourism, EBRD
Vlaho Kojakovic is Director, Head of Property and Tourism at the EBRD. He is a seasoned banker and a real estate executive with more than 20 years of experience in the sector.
Before joining the EBRD, Vlaho worked as Development Director with the Trigranit Development Corporation, the biggest real estate developer in central and eastern Europe. He started his career in investment banking with BNP Paribas in London.
Vlaho holds an MBA from Imperial College, University of London, and an executive education from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Executive Director, Hoteli Zlatni rat, BlueSun
Dino Sokol is a hotelier who has worked in the Croatian hospitality industry for more than two decades. He is currently Executive Director of Hoteli Zlatni rat, which is part of the Bluesun Hotels and Resorts group. He is responsible for the operations of four hotels and their outlets on the island of Brac, in the central Dalmatia region.
Dino is the President of the Brac Consortium Association, which aims to enhance sustainable island development. He is also a member of several professional associations in Croatian tourism, including the Bol-Brac Tourist Board and the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality.
He is a graduate of the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Rijeka in Opatija, Croatia.
Founding Partner, SEEDEV
Goran Zivkov is a former Assistant Minister and Minister of Agriculture of Serbia. He is an international consultant with extensive experience in policy making and strategy planning in agriculture and rural development. He has provided institutional technical assistance in Serbia and many other countries for various organisations, such as FAO, the World Bank, IFC, UNDP and the EU. He has also acted as the main Serbian negotiator with the EU and WTO in the field of agriculture. His specialisations include agricultural policy, value chain development and agricultural financing.
Goran is the owner of the SEEDEV consultancy, Director of the Centre for Rural Development and Agriculture – Agrikultura, and Member of the Board of Directors of ProCredit Bank a.d. Beograd.