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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 3, 2009
Tourism: Exploring Northern Poland
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Pomerania All Year Around
June 3, 2009   
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Interview with Mieczysław Struk, vice-chairman of Pomerania province.

Tourists visit Polish seaside resorts only seasonally. What do the authorities of Pomerania province plan to do to encourage them to come all year round? Apart from coastal beaches in the summer, which of the region's attractions can work as an incentive for prospective visitors?

We have recently completed our first campaign to raise Pomerania's profile. We want to project the image of a province attractive to visitors all year round thanks to its educational, entertainment and cultural opportunities. We also aim to highlight professional development opportunities available in the region. Our photo competition entitled And You? What Are You Doing in Pomerania? is on display until the end of September. Through this competition, we want to inspire tourists and residents to seek new forms of activity in our region. The photographs can be placed on the website www.pomorskiedobrykurs.pl. Many cultural events are held in the region outside the season, including Gdańsk Piano Autumn, Gdańsk Areopagus, Jazz Waves, Yacht Film Festival, Transvizualia Festival, and the Sopot Jazz Festival. And one must not forget about the cultural institutions in the coastal Tricity of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia-museums, theaters, the philharmonic on the Ołowianka island, and the Hewelianum Center. The region also promotes Nordic walking, an increasingly popular leisure activity, in the forests of Kashubia, and angling in the area between the rivers of Słupia and Łeba.

Pomerania province is a popular vacation destination for Polish people. The number of foreigners visiting the Polish sea coast increases every year. Are there any special offers planned for foreign visitors under the region's strategy for the development of tourism?

The latest idea for attracting foreign tourists to Pomerania is our new portal Shopandsee supported by the local governments of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia as well as by the province government and the Pomeranian Regional Tourist Organization. The portal is targeted at British and Scandinavian tourists, and promotes the region under the slogan "Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot-three cities, one destination." The project has already proved to be a success-it was visited over 200,000 times between Feb. 7, 2008, when it was launched, and the end of last year. Many of the website visitors were prospective tourists from Scandinavia and Britain. In April 2008, the portal received the prestigious Mercurius Gedanes prize. A year later, Pomerania province won the Złote Formaty award in the internet service category.

One of the region's new attractions is its "water tram" service, which is a magnet for tourists and a new part of the region's transport infrastructure.
The water tram service is operated by the Gdańsk Municipal Transport Board between Gdańsk, Sopot and Hel.

From June 20 to Aug. 31 Gdańsk also wants to provide a new water tram service between Gdańsk and Sobieszów with financial support from the province government.

The water trams have become one of the region's attractions. Last year, they carried 524,000 passengers, providing a convenient transportation option for tourists traveling on foot and by bicycle. But one should remember that the water tram is only one of our region's attractions. We really have a lot of them.
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