Poland Sadie - Jade Priestley, Student number: 15567471, WORD COUNT: 2,195

This website has been devised to show why Poland is viable to hold a large scale cultural festival by looking in detail at different characteristics of Poland as well as analysing useful statistics such as travel flows and showing evidence where necessary that Poland could be the next hot spot for cultural events large or small.

To give a slight overview of Poland, the country is in central Europe and in 2015 had a population of 38.5 million. It’s a Schengen country meaning there is no border control or the need for passports with regards to visitors to Poland from their mutual boarders, this makes Poland more accessible and bodes well for holding events.

Radio Poland said that Poland is the 18th most favored country to visit across the globe, they sourced this information from the Polish Tourism organisation, they also mentioned that over the first 3/4 of 2014 the amount of people staying in accommodation which could accommodate for over ten visitors reached 4.5 million this has said to be rising 4% year on year according to statistics. Poland has had 220 million tourists over the past 15 years which has generated over 5% of the GDP. (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2014)

Mobility encompasses the movement of people but not just people, also objects, capitalisation and information (Hannam, Sheller and Urry, 2006, 1) Poland is a modern-day country meaning the majority of people within the country or traveling to the country will have smart phones or other technological devices, meaning live streaming and photos posted on social media sites will create publicity for Poland in turn increasing the popularity of Poland, this could lead to a better economy. Many cities within Poland having good transport links so it should not be difficult to bring equipment for the festival in and out of the country.

People will pay more for an experience if they feel they are being entertained or/and educated and if the event has good aesthetics that stimulate the 5 senses. (Pine and Gilmore, 1998) A festival often offers this in abundance, the visual stimulus is the performances or the decoration, the hearing is the music or speeches and the conversations people involve themselves in, the touch can be many things from shaking hands with a band member, or feeling the vibrations of the music under their feet, the taste could be a fresh ice-cream or an ice-cold beer and the smell, hot people and burger vans but the atmosphere is what people will buy in to and this is what creates the experience economy.

Knowing some basic Polish phrases such as ‘where can I buy water?’ may be beneficial for people traveling to Poland, it is said that the younger generation are much more likely to speak English as they have been taught it at school but the older generation 40+ who may work in some supermarkets or less tourist dense area’s may lack basic English skills. Polish people working within tourist sector jobs are often multi lingual though. (Mika, 2014)

Poland is known to have a mild summer so this would be the best time to host the festival as the winters are cold. Poland is known to have frequent showers during the summer this probably wouldn’t hinder the attendance of visitors as there is only just as much likelihood of rain appearing as there is in England during the summer months and that doesn’t deter people from turning up in their thousands to the likes of Leeds and Glastonbury.

In Poland family is the epitome of importance within social structure, this will not be the case for everyone in Poland but for a large majority of the population. It’s seen as orthodox within Polish culture to have large families who are very close to each other and have a sense of unity. The festival would be an opportunity for families to spend time together, especially for members of the family who may live away. It would give families a chance to celebrate their culture and enjoy themselves. (CBOS, 2010)

It can be seen in the figure above that between 2010 and 2014 there was an increase in tourism arrivals of 3,530 showing the popularity of the country has risen, as well as this expenditure, this has benefited the economy and added to the appeal of the country.
(Figure 2, contribution to GDP break down, world travel and tourism council, 2014) You can see the figure above statistically evidences what has been mentioned before, that tourism is already a large contributor to GDP. Tourism is detrimental to most countries surviving economically. It is said that tourist spending is set to rise by 5.4% to PLN63.6bn in 2025.
Many attractions are accessible, and have specific criteria to ensure this. In 2009 'Poland without barriers' was organised by The Association of Friends of Integration and the Administrative Office of Polish Government this is where attractions received recognition for being suitable for people with disabilities. This makes Poland a lot more attractive to a wider range of people including families who may find it difficult to travel with small children and/or pushchairs. (Polska, 2016)
(Figure 3, Travel and Tourism contribution to GDP, World Travel and Tourism Council, 2015) Domestic travel spending equated to 33.3% of direct travel and tourism GDP in 2014, compared to 66.7% from foreign visitor spending. Domestic tourism is the travel people do within their country for example someone from Warsaw visiting Krakow, it is popular in Poland as it is such a vast place with a mixture of beautiful country side and urban cities there is always something to see, it may not contribute so much to GDP though due to the fact Polish residents may not be visiting tourist attractions and they will be aware of the best ways to save money. Domestic travel spending is estimated to rise by 2.4% to PLN23.8bn by 2025. Domestic tourism is equally as important as tourist arrivals from overseas, it's the residents who help keep the economy stable during quieter tourist periods.
(Figure 4, Map of Polish Airports, Poland is here, 2016) As you can see in this figure many of Poland's major cities have Airports, Poland's main international airport is situated in Warsaw. Hosting the festival in one of Poland's larger cities would make it more accessible. Budget airlines such as EasyJet have made it more affordable for people to travel when they may of not been able to afford it previously.
There are many seaports, the two major ones are indicated with red circles above. Some people don't enjoy flying so this could be an alternative means of transport for them whether this be to and from Poland or within Poland. Poland also has a well developed rail network and major cities are interconnected by intercity express trains. (UNTWO, 2016) this also supports the idea of hosting the festival in a main city.

As important as it is for visitors to be attracted to Poland for the cultural festival it is important they're also aware of what else Poland has to offer.

• The Mazurian Lake District contains more than 2,000 lakes and is the perfect place for nature lovers who want to camp or have a good hike. •There is also the flatland's of Western and Central Poland, which is great for horse riding enthusiasts or those who prefer a fishing rod in their hands over a pair of reins. • Bialowieza national park is home to one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain, a great one for photographers.
• Warsaw is an impressive representation of urban reconstruction, unlike many other cities in Poland the focus is less on old town markets and more on the shiny and new. (Lonely Planet, 2016) • Krakow is a world heritage site with strong culture, it is named the European city of culture and is ripe with religious influence, it would be a brilliant part of Poland to host the festival. (UNESCO, 2000) • The Former concentration camp in Oswiecim/Auschwitz is said by the Jewish to be the main site of the holocaust. (Guardian, 2015) This is something that may appeal to history lovers or those interested in dark tourism.
• Przystanek Woodstock is a rock music festival held annually in Kostrzyn nad Odra since 2011 and a range of cities throughout Poland before that and has been going since 1995, it is known as one of the biggest open air festivals in Europe this could be due to the fact it is a free festival, the average attendance over the last 4 years is 625,000. • The Palace of Culture and science in Warsaw is the place for people to go who enjoy always having something to see or do, it's the tallest building in Poland and is home to a theatre, a multi screen cinema and a congress hall to name a few and will only set visitors back 14-20PLN. (Lonely Planet, 2016)
A type of tourism that may not come to mind straight away when thinking of Poland but is important to the country and the economy is health and beauty tourism. A wide range of tourists want to relax and recuperate whilst away from home whether that be a quick massage at a spa before a business meeting or a week retreat of yoga classes and steam rooms, Poland can offer this and after a few days dancing in the heat at a festival where the queue for a lukewarm shower is far less than appealing who wouldn't want to add a few extra days to their stay and chill out. There is an abundance of spas, springs, reservoirs and 44 health resorts in Poland this is due to the wealth of natural resources. The mineral mud pools and springs are complemented by Poland's mild and pleasant climate. (Polska, 2016)

The Tourism and events industry in Poland

Strengths: • Low budget airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air fly to Poland making access easier. • Schengen country meaning more visitors from mutual boarders. • Poland avoided the 2008 economic crisis and currently the economy is doing well meaning that the country can host an event financially and hopefully in turn the event can boost the economy further. (Sheets, 2012) • Terrorism threats are low (GOV.UK, 2016)
Weaknesses: • People may be put off by the fact Poland can experience heavy showers during the summer months. • Local residents may not be welcoming to the prospect of having more events in their area or more tourism in Poland due to the damage it can course on the environment and the congestion it can cause in a city. • Christmas eve is one of the most holy and meaningful days in Poland, the 24th December is very important, this could mean travel flow in to Poland and around Poland before this special day is very high and therefor this could cause a rise in transport prices and congestion (Polska, 2016)
Opportunities: • Poland is up and coming, it can be seen from previous statistics on the website that there has been an increase in inbound tourism over the years, events are an opportunity to increase the number of yearly visitors especially if the events become annual. • Events create more jobs for local people who will be able to work and volunteer at the festival in order to make their CV’s look more appealing. • It brings communities together and if events go well more events may be hosted in the area. • Tourists make money for local businesses and this means they can expand.
Threats: • If the weather is bad it can ruin events for people meaning negative feedback and tourists who’re less likely to come back. • The public transport in and around the area that the event is being held could become congested coursing delays.
• Host the festival in a main city such as Warsaw or Krakow, they both have airports as well as many other forms of public transportation making it easy for tourists and locals. Warsaw is also the city of culture so this fits well with the theme • See when low cost airlines fly and which regions from to optimise the fact people can fly cheaply and make it an asset for the festival. • Ensure visitors are aware of what else is on offer around the area so that visitors have a reason to stay for longer. • Try not to clash with other large scale festivals, especially ones in the same area as people may be more likely to attend an event they have confidence in already.
In conclusion Poland can be seen as an on trend country to visit with statistics showing that tourism arrivals have risen year on year, the country can be seen as being in a financially stable position with a good economy and many factors support that Poland would be an ideal host for the cultural festival, like all countries there are negative benefactors to take in to consideration but none that could stop the event going ahead.


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Sadie Priestley


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