Welcoming speech of mayor
Dear business partners, dear friends!
It is a great pleasure to present to you Opatija, a Mediterranean town with Central European charm, which numerous business people, scientists and tourists have chosen as their favourite destination.
Opatija’s favourable geographic position with regard to road and rail links, as well as the area’s pleasant climate, were the main reasons for the rapid development of tourism at the end of the 19th century. Today Opatija is an elegant holiday resort and the heart of the Riviera boasting the longest tradition of welcoming visitors in Croatia. The town is renowned for its fine, well-tended parks and gardens, the 12 km-long Lungomare coastal promenade, numerous bathing spots and splendid fountains, which all make a perfect setting for villas and hotels that can accommodate up to 6,000 visitors.
Opatija’s long tradition as a convention destination and holiday resort is best illustrated by the fact that it was the venue for the Fourth Congress of Austrian Balneologists in 1904, and that in 1906 a book entitled Abbazia als Kurort (Opatija as a health resort) was published to mark the 60th birthday of Opatija’s eminent doctor, Julius Glax. With more than 20 hotels, most of them rated with four or five stars, numerous restaurants and recreational facilities, entertainment programmes and events of various kinds, Opatija can today satisfy the needs of even the most demanding of congress organisers and delegates.
Thanks to the care and attention of the people who live and work here, Opatija is becoming more and more beautiful each day. It is no accident that it holds the title of a “Child-friendly city” and a “Healthy town” – they speak for the quality of life in Opatija.
But this is not all. Only 15-minute’s drive from the town centre is Opatija’s hinterland, characterised not only by a picturesque landscape, but also by its long and eventful history. Let us mention here the medieval town of Veprinac, a small hilltop town whose history dates back to the 15th century, when it was ruled by the countess Elisabeth of Devin. This was the time when the Veprinac Law was compiled, today an important part of the Croatian legal tradition.
An additional 20-minute-drive will take you from Veprinac to the top of Mount Učka, Vojak. This is one of the most impressive vantage points in Europe, offering panoramic views of Kvarner Bay and its islands, the peninsula of Istria, and if the weather is clear, the view might even reach as far as Venice. When returning to Opatija, make sure to stop off in some of the local inns for a taste of some home-made wine, pršut home-cured ham, or other specialies of the region.
I feel quite confident that the quality of the services provided will meet your requirement and that you will recognise the efforts made to constantly improve our facilities. I extend you a warm welcome. One last thing: after a successful convention, do not forget to take some time for relaxation and take full advantage of our beneficial climate and sea air filled with aerosol.
Ivo Dujmić, mayor of Opatija