Kvarner is the northern Adriatic region known as the cradle of Croatian business tourism.
The region is comprised of islands, the coastline, and its hilly green interior. Each of these areas has capacities for congresses, while the nearby natural attractions make for an interesting venue for holding business meetings, and incentive and team-building programs of all types and sizes. This area is also known for its outstanding gastronomic offer and wines whose rich tastes also reflect the diversity of this region.
The first association that many people make for business tourism in this region is, of course, the town of Opatija, a historic tourist destination. It began as a vacation resort, and then enhanced its reputation by expanding its MICE offer. The history of tourism in Opatija began in 1844. The first hotel was opened in 1885, and that same year at the first congress of balneologists (experts on baths and spas) a decision was made to become a health resort, which it officially did in 1889 by a decree of the Austrian emperor. It then transformed into a year-round tourist location, the natural extension of which was the hosting of congresses and other gatherings.
Today, Opatija is a favorite MICE destination with a large number of conference facilities. Many of the gatherings that are held here are traditional and have become the town's trademark.
In addition to Opatija, Kvarner's business future in the MICE industry rests on other well-known destinations, such as Crikvenica and the tourist centers on the islands of Krk, Rab, Cres Lošinj and others.
Opatija’s tourism offer is linked to that of the nearby city of Rijeka, which has added to its reputation as a transit port with successful expansion as into a well-developed and always dynamic tourist center.
Kvarner is also known for its many festivals, the largest of which is, of course, the Rijeka Carnival, which the Sunday Timesincluded at the very top of the most attractive global celebrations.
As a kind of counterpoint, or more exactly, an added value to the maritime part of Kvarner, is its mountainous region - green Gorski Kotar with Risnjak National Park.