First three months of year saw foreign spending soar to PLN 9.8 billion on goods and services as number of border crossings increase

Bridge crossing border between Zgorzelec and Goerlitz, Germany. /PAP/EPA

More people are crossing the Polish border, whether Poles travelling abroad or visitors from other countries, as the latest figures published by the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) show.

In the first three months of the year, there were 65.5 million crossings of Poland’s borders, two million more than over the same period in 2018. Of these, 60 percent were by foreigners who are not residents of Poland and 40 percent were by Poles or residents. For both groups, the number was higher than a year earlier.

Poles travelling abroad also spent more there than over the same period last year: PLN 4.8 billion last year. Forty percent of this was spent by people leaving Poland by aeroplane.PAP/EPA

Most of the crossings were via Poland’s land borders; three quarters concerned its border with other EU countries. Another 11 percent were over Poland’s land border with non-EU countries. Thirteen percent of the border crossings were made at airports in Poland, while just 0.6 percent concerned people crossing the sea border on Poland’s Baltic coast.

In terms of countries, crossings on the Polish-German border accounted for almost half of all the crossings (46 percent). The Polish-Czech border was next (25 percent), followed by those with Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia.

Most of the crossings were via Poland’s land borders; three quarters concerned its border with other EU countries. Polish border guards survey the incoming traffic to Poland at the German-Polish autobahn checkpoint in Świecko.PAP/EPA

According to GUS’s estimates, foreign citizens who entered Poland in the first three months of the year spent a total of PLN 9.8 billion on goods and services there, slightly more than a year earlier. People arriving from Germany spent the most, followed by people crossing the border from Ukraine.

Among people who arrived in Poland overland from outside the EU, 82 percent of their total spending went towards purchasing non-food items, almost 14 percent towards food and non-alcoholic drinks and 4 percent towards other services, according to GUS. Those arriving from within the EU spent a higher proportion of their total expenditure on services.

In terms of countries, crossings on the Polish-German border accounted for almost half of all the crossings (46 percent). The Polish-Czech border was next (25 percent), followed by those with Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia.Artur Reszko/PAP

Poles travelling abroad also spent more there than over the same period last year: PLN 4.8 billion last year. Forty percent of this was spent by people leaving Poland by aeroplane.

GUS notes that the differences in spending were linked to how people were travelling, the purpose of their trip and the duration of their stay, among other factors.