Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/25/2012 -- 2011 Another Strong Year For Polish Tourism
According to preliminary data from Poland's Institute of Tourism (Intur), there were 60.75mn foreign arrivals into Poland during 2011 - of which 13.35mn were tourist arrivals - reflecting increases of 4.1% and 6.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) respectively. Encouragingly, tourist arrivals were increasing at a faster rate than overall arrivals to the country, boding well for the sector's overall development.
Looking at source markets, Germany remained the most significant market for inbound Polish tourism in 2011, sending some 4.42mn tourists, a decrease of 2.1% y-o-y. The second most important source market for tourists is Ukraine (1.27mn tourists, down 6.3% y-o-y), followed by Lithuania (641,000, up 3.4%), Belarus (439,000, down 54.7%) and the UK (411,000, down 15.3%).
For 2012, BMI is very upbeat on the outlook for Poland's tourism industry, currently forecasting an 8% increase in tourist arrivals, to more than 14.4mn and a 12% increase in tourist expenditure, to US$12.84bn. We believe that the country will benefit this year from its co-hosting of the UEFA 2012 Football Championships with Ukraine, with four Polish cities hosting football games: Gdasnsk, Posdan, Warsaw and Wroclaw. To further encourage tourists, the Polish government recently launched a website (www.polishpass.org) where foreign travellers coming to Poland for UEFA 2012 can book all flights, accommodation, domestic transportation and even buy their travel insurance online.
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Beyond the current year, we are currently targeting an increase in tourist arrivals of 16.7% between end- 2012 and the end of our newly extended forecast period in 2016, indicating that Poland should be welcoming some 16.85mn tourists by 2016. Tourist expenditure should also increase, by 32.5%, to US$17bn.
Greater Clarity On Inbound Tourism Figures By Country
For 2012, BMI has added greater clarity to our inbound tourism figures by country. Previously, we had tended to look solely at foreign arrivals at border crossings, taking information from Poland's Central Statistics Office (GUS). However, from our research carried out over the past year, we have seen that there were some problems with adopting solely this approach on a country-by-country basis.
As an example, although a total of 10.84mn Czech citizens entered Poland during 2011 (second only to Germany on 25.74mn in terms of overall numbers of people entering the country, for whatever purpose) only 195,000 of these people entered as tourists (as defined by Intur). Similarly, a total of 5.62mn Slovak citizens entered Poland during 2011, but only 100,000 of this total were coming to Poland specifically as tourists.
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