Euro 2012 boosted tourism in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
The European football championship that Poland co-hosted with Ukraine in 2012 appears to have provided a boost to the country's tourism industry that is still bearing fruit.
Croatian fans, Gdansk. Photo: wikipedia/Gdaniec
Data released by the Central Statistical Office shows that the influx of tourists from eight out of nine nations that played in Poland during the Euro 2012 championship has grown over the past two years.
An increase was also recorded in the case of nations that had their teams quartered in Poland, even if they did not play matches here.
The effect is most visible in the case of Krakow, where the England team was stationed. In 2013 it hosted 402,000 British tourists compared to some 320,000-340,000 in previous years.
The number of visitors from all countries involved in the championship, excluding Poland's neighbours, has grown to 633,000 in 2013 compared with just 517,000 in 2011.
In the case of visitors from Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany the numbers have also increased, but that may be largely attributed to cross-border trade.
“People in Europe heard about Poland and saw it presented in a new, interesting way, so they decided to see our country for themselves,” Wojciech Fedyk, a tourism expert, told the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna newspaper.
“Of course we cannot assume that it is only the football championship that contributed to the trips. But such major events always bring in more tourists after they are completed.”
An increase in tourism is just what the Polish government expected right after the tournament. At the time, the prime minister's office touted the results of a poll that said that up to 80 percent of foreign football fans would come back to Poland and 92 percent would recommend the country as a travel destination. (kw/nh)