Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/24/2014 -- The ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine will substantially affect our forecasts over the next year or so, as Ukraine is traditionally one of the largest source markets for the Polish tourism industry, and also represented the most popular destination for outbound tourists in previous quarters. However, owing to the continued security issues represented by the Russian appropriation of Crimea, we have revised down our forecasts for these indicators, as we do not believe that as many Ukrainians will opt for costly foreign holidays, nor do we view Ukraine as an attractive holiday destination at present.
The Ukraine/Russian conflict represents the largest threat to the continued growth of the Polish tourism sector at present, as Ukraine has long been an attractive holiday destination (an estimated 1.16mn Polish tourists travelled there in 2013). Although we had previously forecast this number to increase in 2014, we are now downgrading our forecast to 1.07mn, as we do not expect Ukraine to be an attractive holiday destination in the short term. We expect the political situation to remain extremely volatile, as we fully expect Russia will continue its destabilisation efforts. In addition, there is a growing risk of violence breaking out between the government and separatist movements. We therefore are also downgrading our inbound forecasts for Ukrainians travelling to Poland on holiday. As recently as 2012, Ukraine was the second largest source market for inbound travellers to Poland; however, we now forecast inbound arrivals from Ukraine to decline to 1.6mn in 2014, placing Ukraine third behind Germany and Belarus among the top 10 markets by arrivals.
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The increasing number of hotels in Poland is likely to continue throughout our forecast period. Central and Eastern Europe is currently perceived as offering extremely attractive investment opportunities for hotel groups and other tourist-related industries - largely due to rising domestic...
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