Foreign tourists avoid Polish mountains due to Ukraine war

Grzegorz Momot/PAP

Foreign tourists are steering clear of Poland’s Tatra Mountains because of the war in Ukraine with virtually no reservations made by them, the Tatra Chamber of Commerce has told PAP.

Domestic tourism, however, the chamber reported, remains strong.

"The war in Ukraine has surely had an influence on taking vacation decisions," the chamber's Karol Wagner said.

He drew attention to a fall in the number of reservations over the spring period, as well as over the coming Easter holidays and the long May Day weekend. "However, there is no difference in the number of (summer) vacation reservations compared with last year," he said.

Wagner explained that Polish tourists were unconcerned by the war in Ukraine and planned summer breaks in the mountains. In some facilities, summer vacation reservations, especially in August, stand at as much as 80 percent, he said.

Reservations by foreign tourists, however, have almost completely disappeared, Wagner reported, adding that Ukrainian visitors, who previously had been keen to holiday in the Polish mountains, were certainly not coming, nor were Russian tourists.

Local hoteliers reported that there had been a huge drop in tourists from Hungary and Slovakia, with no reservations from Arab countries, from where large numbers visited in 2018 and 2019. Those tourists chose expensive hotels, reserved lots of rooms and used various additional services.

There are practically no reservations from the United States and Canada and only a few from the UK and Germany, Wagner told PAP.

He said that the war in Ukraine was not the only reason for the fall in visits, with inflation also being a factor. 

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