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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » October 29, 2010
Tourist Bus Trips Around Warsaw
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Tourist Bus Trips Around Warsaw
October 29, 2010   
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Maciej Lewandowski, marketing manager for Warsaw City-Tour, speaks with Jolanta Wolska.

Warsaw City-Tour is a new company in Warsaw. How does it differ from other similar services?
We started in July. It is an Israeli company. As part of a panoramic tour of Warsaw’s tourist attractions, we are driving yellow buses with a computer audio system, where the narration on the bus is recorded in 12 languages and—operating with a GPS system—adjusts automatically depending on the location of the bus. Every passenger gets earphones and can select the language of their choice, including Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew, which I feel is very important. Our route is comprehensive and quite long, and includes major Jewish historic places in Warsaw.

Also, tourists can plan their trip. Our folder provides information on the complete route, bus stops and a timetable for each stop. We have three buses to ensure that even if there are traffic delays, one of the buses will arrive at the designated stops on time.

The bus has windows that slide open, which is a great advantage for those who want to take photographs from inside. Warsaw looks very interesting from that vantage point.

Is this service aimed at foreign or local tourists and is it seasonal?
Initially we are focusing on foreign tourists, including those from Israel, but we have a growing number of inquiries from Polish people. I strongly believe that Poles will also take advantage of this panoramic tour when visiting the capital.

The tours will operate all year round, although at a reduced frequency in winter, as it gets darker earlier. In summer we have five trips every day, and this will be reduced to three in winter. The bus can carry 71 people altogether, 48 on the top deck, which is the main attraction.

Can passengers get off the bus and look at the monuments, or is viewing only through the windows?
By buying a daily or a two-day ticket, people can hop off at any of the selected stops, look around, and then hop on the next bus. The buses cruise at two-hour intervals. We have worked out that the two-hour break is sufficient for people to walk around at their leisure and visit what interests them, then hop on the next bus. It is a really good idea, because it gives people total freedom, while at the same time getting the benefit of a tour. It is particularly good for individual travelers to quickly see a city. We have inquiries from businessmen who have perhaps three hours of free time and want to get an idea of the city.

Apart from the obvious tourist attractions, we want to show people some out-of-the-way places. However, we are limited by where the bus can drive given its height. The tour starts at the Zachęta gallery of modern art, through to Plac Bankowy, Plac Teatralny, Piłsudskiego Square, the Old Town, Muranowska and Nowolipki, Nalewki Streets, the Ghetto heroes’ monument, the Synagogue, parliament, Łazienki park, and so on.

Why did you join the Warsaw Destination Alliance?
For a very reasonable membership fee, we have access to very good information, contacts and an opportunity to network with other organizations. Also, I want to give the WDA something in return. We also work with the Warsaw promotion and tourism bureaux, and I am hoping that they will assist in promoting us in their 14 centers abroad.

Hotels are very interested in working with us, as it is an attractive added value for them. Some travel agencies will also offer our tours as part of their packages. We have our brochures at all the Warsaw tourist information centers.

In time we will advertise in the traditional media and through the internet and on the social media portals. So far we are very happy with the results we are getting with very little promotion. We are in the process of creating our website. At this stage, tickets can be bought on the bus by cash or credit card.
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