Poland By Luke Garrett (15592827) Word Count: 1964

Introduction

‘It sometimes seems as if all the world is on the move’ (Urry, 2007, 3). Mobilities tie into events and tourism because it explains how people move and how information or ideas travel around events or the world in the case of tourism. The experience economy ties into events and tourism because it is the general experience an individual gets once they have attended an event or visited a tourist destination. Characteristics of Poland from the viewpoint of tourism and events. Poland is part of the European Union otherwise known as the EU; this means any other country that is in the EU can travel to Poland if they have a European passport without any difficulties, it has big historical locations in the country which will be in the section titled Destination resources. Poland has held some Mega events which have had an impact on the country, this will be in a case study further on in the website.

Aim of this website

This website will show you why Poland is the ideal place to host an event and what areas of Poland are best for it in their own ways. It will outline the following key points in detail;

  • Destination resources (natural and cultural resources, key attractions) and key events
  • Evaluation of travel flows to and within the country (analysis of visitor statistics)
  • Domestic travel trends
  • Evaluation of transport to and within the country
  • A case study on something distinctive/special about the country’s tourism/events
  • An evaluation of the events and tourism industry in the country (SWOT analysis)
  • Key recommendations for the client arising from your research

What does Poland have to offer?

The following short video shows a few things that Poland has to offer, these will then be explained later on in the website.

Destination Resources (natural and cultural resources, key attractions) and key events

Auschwitz

Cultural Resources

Auschwitz is one of the most well-known places in Poland due to the history of the place and what it was built and used for. Auschwitz was constructed in October 1940 and was used for the purpose of killing targeted groups such as Jewish and Polish people. Since its liberation however in 1945 it has become a tourist destination for Poland and as of 1979 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List (UNESCO, 2016).

Other cultural sites that Poland has are Nozyk Synagogue which are the remains of a Warsaw Ghetto and The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw (Poland Travel, 2016a). Below pictured on the left is The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw and to the right of it is the Nozyk Synagogue.

The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw and the Nozyk Synagogue

Natural Resources

The three main natural resources Poland has to offer are the Bieszczady National Park, the Lake Country of Pomorze and the Mazurian Lake District. (Poland Travel, 2016b) (Boniface, Cooper and Cooper, 2012). The National Park boundaries encircle the highest part of the Western Bieszczady Mountains, in the corner of Poland bordering on Slovakia and the Ukraine (Poland Travel, 2016c). The Lake Country of Pomorze has the old fortress of Malbork which was built by the Teutonic Knights (Boniface et al, 2012b). ‘The Mazurian Lake District is an area of forests, lakes and low hills of glacier drift’ (Boniface et al, 2012c)

Key Events

The three key events this website will outline in Poland are Wroclaw – European City of Culture 2016, Polish Independence Day – 11th November and Suwalki Ski Rally (Poland Travel, 2016d) (BBC, 2016a). The European City of Culture is when The city (in the case Wroclaw) is ‘designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.’ (Poland Travel, 2016e). The Polish Independence Day is hosted every year on the 11th November to mark the day Poland became independent of foreign rule for over a century at the end of World War I (BBC, 2016b). Finally, the Suwalki Ski Rally, this event had its 38th Annual event in 2015 and the event run from the 16th January to the 31st January. (Poland Travel, 2016f).

Evaluation of travel flows to and within the country (analysis of visitor statistics)

Poland gains most of its contribution to GDP from Travel and Tourism in the form of Leisure Spending, this is where 77.8% of the contribution comes from, the other 22.8% is from Business Spending (WTTC, 2016a). Domestic Spending was recorded at 31.7% last year with the total spend of people visiting the country being at 68.3% (WTTC, 2016b). Overall Poland rank 44th in the world for their Travel and Tourism contributions to their GDP with $8 billion directly contributing to it, neighbouring countries have contributions between $0.4 billion and $4.6 billion. However, Germany are ranked 3 with $130.7 billion directly. (WTTC, 2016c).

Domestic travel trends

Domestic travel trends could be anything such as when people go on holiday within their own country or just on day visits. Within Poland 19,614,000 people travelled domestically for overnight stays in 2014 (OECD, 2016a). This figure is over one million more than the previous year and over 3 million in comparison to 2010 (OCED, 2016b). From the table from the e-book it is clear to see that over the period of 2010-2014, the Polish citizens started to use their own country more for holidays. this could be beneficial in hosting an event there because someone could use reports such as this one and the one from the World Travel and Tourism Council to see where in the country people enjoy visiting.

Evaluation of transport to and within the country

Last year, Poland’s tourism rates increased, they had an overall percentage change of 4.6% more tourists coming into the country. This was due to the 16.728 million tourists who visited Poland within the year (UNWTO, 2016a). The region that Poland is located in is Europe, Europe had 594.1 million tourists visit last year (UNWTO, 2016b).

In Poland there is many different ways of getting around the country and also to the country. Getting the train around the country is the most popular for travellers to Poland (Polrail, 2016a), this is because parking and traffic from residents of the country is a problem (Polrail, 2016b). The company also claim that 'travel by train is still the most comfortable and convenient' (Polrail, 2016c). Another way of getting around the country is the domestic airline system. this has been growing over the past several years, most airports in Poland now run a domestic flight to the capital city (Warsaw) and Warsaw has a domestic flight back to all of these cities. the major airports such as; Gdansk, Krakow and Wroclaw all run flights to other airports other than Warsaw. (Poland Travel, 2016g)

A case study on something distinctive/special about the country’s tourism/events

UEFA European Championships 2012 is the chosen case study for this website, this is because it is the biggest event Poland have hosted in recent years and it attracted a lot of attention from countries all over Europe. This case study was selected because it is unique for Poland to host big sporting events. Poland had not hosted the UEFA European Championships or The FIFA World Cup before they got to host the UEFA European Championships in 2012 (UEFA, 2012).

UEFA Logo

The UEFA European Championships is a Mega-event which is an event which is recognised by the world and can be watched live usually by a live stream or on television. The UEFA European Championship ‘had a TV audience of over 1 billion, with 150 million people watching every game (on average). This media exposure was particularly important for Poland - a country with a virtual lack of an international image.’ (Dembek and Wloch, 2014). From this journal article it is clear to see that Poland’s International image was improved from them hosting the UEFA European Championships.

The main problem in Poland before the UEFA European Championships in 2012 was not the fact their international image was negative, it was more the lack of an international image in the first place (Dembek and Wloch, 2014b). in a study that was conducted by TNS OBOP ‘over half of the respondents in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, and Germany knew something about Poland, but at the same time 82% of the Dutch, 72% of the British and 62% of the French know nothing or very little about the country’ (Dembek and Wloch, 2014c) before the UEFA European Championships in 2012.

An evaluation of the events and tourism industry in the country (SWOT analysis)

Strengths

A few strengths Poland has in the way of tourism and events is the number of cultural and natural resources the country has. These can be found further up the website in the sections titled Cultural Resources and Natural Resources. Another strength Poland has is a good rail system (Polrail, 2016d). This is good because there is a lot of road congestion in Poland. Travelling by train in Poland is also quite popular (Polrail, 2016e).

Weaknesses

Some of the weaknesses in Poland consist of the language barrier because Polish is the only language in the country that more than 20% of the country speaks. 95.15% of the residents in Poland speak Polish, the next most spoken language in Poland is English, in which only 19.85% of residents speak (Language Knowledge, 2016). Another Weakness is obviously the road congestion which is mentioned in the previous paragraph briefly, more people are now favouring using the rail system in Poland due to the road congestion, it is mostly tourists who use the rail system (Polrail, 2016f).

Opportunities

Poland has a huge amount of opportunity to host more Mega-events now after how well they did with the UEFA European Championships. Poland also has enough stadiums now to host the Mega-events as well, such as the UEFA European Championships again, the FIFA World Cup or the women’s version of either of these events. Poland have also hosted the European City of Culture in 2016 which could open up more doors for them to maybe host the event again in a different city as it is used to help regenerate a city. They could get more visitors internationally from being the European City of Culture because it has given Poland a new image and will make more people want to visit.

Threats

Some of the threats on the events and tourism industry is that people will only visit Poland for the purpose of an event or the purpose of a specific attraction such as Auschwitz. This means that not all the tourist attractions and all the events are viewed equally by people who are travelling to or even around Poland.

Key recommendations for the client arising from your research

The first recommendation would be to host a sporting event if they are planning to host an event. However, hosting a historical event would work well, this is because of the amount of heritage sites that Poland has to offer. Another recommendation would be that the client would be able to host a festival in the arenas that were made for sports. This would give a different feel to the event whilst providing a 360-degree view of the performer and provide enough seated and standing viewing.

Conclusion

To summarise, Poland is a good country to host a wide range of events but is most equipped to host sporting events such as Football. Poland also has a good amount of transport to attract tourists from all over the world with easy access from any other countries within the European Union as well as domestic travellers. The country also provides a rich amount of natural and cultural sites to visit whilst the tourist is visiting the clients event. Finally, Poland has a good climate for winter sporting events if the client wishes to host this type of event in the future.

Reference List

Boniface, B., Cooper, C., Cooper, R. (2012) Worldwide Destinations: The Geography of Travel and Tourism, 6th edition. Oxon: Routledge.

Dembek, A. and Wloch, R. (2014) The Impact of a Sports Mega-Event on the International Image of a Country: the Case of Poland Hosting UEFA Euro 2012. Perspectives, 22(1) 33-47. Available from http://search.proquest.com.proxy.library.lincoln.ac.uk/abicomplete/docview/1612472460/88D129383E864EE3PQ/6?accountid=16461 [accessed 18 December 2016].

Language Knowledge (2016) Languages spoken in Poland. Available from http://languageknowledge.eu/countries/poland [accessed 21 October 2016].

OCED iLibrary (2016a, b) Tourism Trends and Policies. Available from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/industry-and-services/oecd-tourism-trends-and-policies-2016/poland-domestic-inbound-and-outbound-tourism_tour-2016-table74-en [accessed 12 Decemeber 2016].

Poland Travel (2016a) UNESCO sites. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/unesco-sites [accessed 21 October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016b) Mountain trekking. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/mountain-trekking [accessed 21 October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016c) Bieszczady National Park. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/national-parks/bieszczady-national-park [accessed 21 October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016d) Events Calendar. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/calendar [accessed 20 October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016e) Wroclaw: European Capital of Culture 2016. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/news/wroclaw-european-capital-of-culture-2016 [accessed 22 October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016f) Northern Trips - 38th Annual Ski Rally. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en/sport-event/northern-trips-%E2%80%93-38th-national-ski-rally [accessed 21October 2016].

Poland Travel (2016g) Domestic Flights. Available from http://www.poland.travel/en-gb/travel-by-air/domestic-flights [accessed 21 October 2016].

Polrail Service (2016a, b, c, d, e, f) Getting around Poland by Train. Available from http://www.polrail.com/en/rail-travel-guide-introduction [accessed 7 November 2016].

UEFA (2012) History of the Euros. Available from http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/index.html [accessed 31 October 2016].

UNESCO (2016) Auschwitz Birkenau. Available from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31 [accessed 7 December 2016].

Urry, J., (2007) Mobilities, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press

UNWTO (2016a, b) UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2016 Edition. Available from http://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284418145 [accessed 23 October 2016].

WTTC (2016a, b, c) Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2016 Poland. Available from http://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/countries-2016/poland2016.pdf [accessed 11 December 2016].

Credits:

Created with images by jarekgrafik - "slovakia tatry landscape" • DzidekLasek - "auschwitz the museum history" • dlisbona - "JahrHundert Halle (Centennial Hall) Wroclaw(Breslau)" • E Steuer - "Nozyk Synagogue, the only surviving pre-war Jewish temple in Warsaw" • NazionaleCalcio - "Presa di posizione dell'Uefa contro il terrorismo"

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