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Tourism

Dynamic growth of tourism market in Poland
2006 was characterised by dynamic growth in most sectors of the tourism industry in Poland. This positive trend resulted to a large extent from a second consecutive year of strong growth in the Polish economy. The diversified tourist offer and improving infrastructure encouraged both incoming and domestic tourists to spend their holiday in this country. Poland is awakening the interest of tourists by raising interest in larger cities such as Krakow, Warsaw or Wroclaw and its interesting natural features, including the Baltic Sea, Masuria Lakes and Tatra Mountains.

Continued dynamism of incoming tourism
The positive trends in incoming tourism continued in 2006, and were especially pronounced in terms of Western tourists, particularly from “Old Europe” and the US. These tourists are both business and leisure travellers, although the two groups have different purposes for their visits. Business tourism is growing in line with the closer economic integration of the Polish economy into the EU. Leisure tourism is mainly to visit the larger Polish cities and/or motivated by special purposes, such as spa and wellness or even medical treatment. Incoming tourism from the Eastern direction is characterised by stability in terms of number of visitors, impacted by a diminishing scale of cross-border trade, which used to be the main purpose of visits from Belarus, Russia or Ukraine.
 
Rising disposable income boosts outgoing tourism
In line with increasing personal disposable income greater numbers of Poles decided to spend their holidays abroad. This trend was fuelled by the attractive offers of larger tour operators in terms of pricing level and diversified products. In addition, large numbers of Polish tourists went abroad to visit their friends and family members who are living and working abroad. Outgoing tourism was also boosted by the high exchange rate of the Polish zloty against the euro and US dollar, which made the prices of holidays abroad more affordable for potential Polish customers.
 
Record performance in air travel
Air transportation in Poland recorded extraordinary growth in 2006. On the one hand it was fuelled by large numbers of Poles who live abroad and visit their homeland several times a year. On the other hand the boom in air travel was due to the expansion of low-cost carriers, which, due to the low pricing levels, excellently meet the expectations of Polish customers. Low-cost carriers are also used by numerous foreign tourists who visit Poland for short 3-4-day excursions.
 
Improving accommodation infrastructure in Poland
The Polish accommodation infrastructure has been characterised for years by a poor offer in terms of both quality and number of rooms. This situation has started to change for the better due to major investments from hotel chains. Most traditional hotels are being modernised and adjusted to modern quality standards. International operators’ new establishments have been appearing in the larger cities. Independent hotels in major destinations are being modernised and new ones constructed in smaller locations and tourist areas.
EURO 2012 will greatly impact travel and tourism
In April 2007 Poland and Ukraine were jointly chosen by FIFA to host the football European Championship in 2012. Poland will have to adjust its infrastructure to the needs of hundreds of thousands of fans who will come from all over Europe. This third largest sports competition in the world will intensively impact the development of such sectors as hotels, foodservice and transportation. Rough estimates are that about EUR50 billion will be spent in the coming years to ensure that the complete infrastructure is in place for this large event.
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NordicHouse in Krakow is a consulting company, which was created with the purpose of initiating and developing the interregional cooperation between the Nordic countries and the Southern Poland through promotion of contacts for business, tourism and culture.
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