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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » August 2, 2010
Destination Warsaw
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Warsaw Video Guide on the Web
August 2, 2010   
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Małgorzata Korzeniecka and Krzysztof Pacuła, coordinators of the OnlyWarsaw.com video guide website, talk to Jolanta Wolska.

What is the rationale behind the OnlyWarsaw.com website and where did the idea to set up such a website come from?
The video guide is designed to promote the capital among foreigners, both those who are planning to come to Warsaw and those who are already here but do not speak Polish or do not have access to local tourist information.

The idea came from different sources as well as our own interest in Warsaw and our association with a travel organization, CoachSurfing.com. It all started when we heard the opinion abroad that Warsaw is not a very interesting city, and yet when people came here they were very pleasantly surprised, and found Warsaw to be a vibrant city. So we decided to share this idea and show this fabulous city in video film format.

OnlyWarsaw is a video guide that shows Warsaw the way it appears to us: as an interesting, vibrant city with numerous charming spots to visit. We walk down the streets and talk to people, observe and discover places which we then recommend. Our videos show both mainstream and off-the-beaten track Warsaw. They show not only the most popular tourist attractions, but also the less known places that are only beginning to be popular. We show people who create Warsaw’s unique atmosphere. We also check out places where people can taste the most delicious p±czki donuts or original Polish honey beer.

What age group and type of tourists are the target of your website?
The main target is the younger age group and middle-class tourists, who come here for both leisure and business. They all want to relax and get to know the city. We have had a very good response so far, especially from Polish expats who emigrated from Poland in the 1980s and this is their first trip back. Although they had their preconceived ideas about Poland and their memories, our “guide” shows them a different Warsaw. We show parts of Warsaw that sometimes even many locals do not know about.

What are your favorite parts on the website?
One of our favorites is a clip about a bootblack in the Old Town. He has quite a story to tell with lots of humor and insight about his trade, about the city and the people he comes across. We want to show Warsaw from many different perspectives. One of the clips that attracted our viewers is the SenseNonsensu pub in the Praga district; it has become a very special place with an incredible atmosphere. There is also a fun clip about the singing statues near the cathedral in Praga, the only one of its kind and not even known to most locals.

What do you think tourists want to see the most in a city?
It depends on the tourist. Some people travel to see ugliness; they don’t look for beautiful pictures, they may go to war zones or places devastated by war, while others, the classical tourists, look for beautiful places. In a way, Warsaw can offer both. For instance, the Old Town is really interesting and beautiful. On the other hand, we have the remains of communism in the city center, such as Konstytucji Square, though it’s not a classically beautiful part of the town, nonetheless it is interesting to foreigners because it is different and gives them an idea about communism that they did not have in their country. So for us who live in Warsaw, sometimes it’s ugly, and some people, for example, would opt to demolish the Palace of Science and Culture, while foreigners find it interesting. Tourists are attracted by the diversity of Warsaw. There are also the old “milk bars” that many find attractive, and then there is a lot of nature in the heart of Warsaw. Warsaw is a very green city, and the Vistula river is just starting to be an important tourist attraction. It is very different from those in most Western European capitals. It is not regulated; it is a wild river, and it is not surrounded by concrete as elsewhere.

How do you promote your OnlyWarsaw.com website?
We don’t have much money to promote it, so we look for free promotion, publicity and coverage in the media, and we are focusing on social media websites, such as Facebook, YouTube and the like. And we are also working with the Warsaw Destination Alliance to promote Warsaw.
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