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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » March 27, 2013
Destination Warsaw
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Tourist Numbers Up
March 27, 2013   
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Tourism to Poland, including to Warsaw, grew markedly in 2012 compared with a year earlier, says a report drawn up for Warsaw City Hall by market research company Ipsos Poland.

According to figures from the Tourism Institute quoted in the report, an estimated 14.4 million foreign tourists visited Poland in 2012, 7.5 percent up on the previous year. Some of that increase is attributed to the Euro 2012 soccer championships held in Warsaw and several other Polish cities last summer.

According to the report, there were more foreign tourists from North America but fewer from the EU. Even so, tourists from the EU—mainly Italy, Germany, France and Spain—still dominated tourism to Warsaw. In domestic terms, more Polish tourists arrived from the southern regions of Silesia and Małopolska and fewer from Mazovia province than in previous years.

Apart from visiting Warsaw, foreign tourists also flocked to Cracow, Gdańsk and Wrocław. These tourists also visited Prague, Berlin and Budapest as part of the same trip.

Foreign tourists were more keen to stay in hotels and less keen to stay in hostels, while cheaper forms of accommodation rose in popularity among Polish tourists. Generally speaking, older tourists chose hotel accommodation, while those under 30 decided to stay with family or friends.

The figures show that tourists are becoming less keen to travel by train while the percentage of tourists arriving by plane, bus or tour coach has gradually been increasing. The older age group tends to travel by plane while those under 30 opt for a train or bus. Warsaw’s Chopin Airport recorded an 11.4 percent increase in passengers, with a total of 4.76 million people using it in 2012.

More than three-quarters of foreign tourists visited Warsaw for the first time, according to the report. Sightseeing is becoming more of a reason for coming to Warsaw than visiting family or friends. However, one in six tourists says that a recommendation from friends or family who have previously visited the capital is the main reason for their decision to visit Warsaw. The biggest attraction for foreign tourists is the Old Town, while the Warsaw Uprising Museum is of greatest interest to Polish tourists.

Foreign tourists said that the friendliness of the locals had made the greatest positive impression on them, contributing to a positive travel experience to Warsaw.

There was also an increase in tourist satisfaction. Nine out of 10 foreign tourists would recommend Warsaw to their friends, and four out of five said that they would visit again.

Jolanta Wolska
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