Poland sees boom in tourist numbers

Szeroka Street in Kraków Jerzy Ochoński

Food, culture, entertainment and safety top list of reason for increasing number of tourists.

The number of tourists visiting Poland shot up in 2017, with an increase of 9.6% in two years to 18.3 million. 

The majority of visitors came from Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Great Britain. The most dynamic growth affected arrivals from China (54.5%), Israel (49.7%) and South Korea (18.2%). Indian, Russian and Australian tourists are also increasingly opting for a Poland visit. 

According to the Polish Tourism Agency, safety appears to be one of the key factors.

Grzegorz Cendrowski from the agency said: “Poland is an open, friendly, hospitable and safe country. The last aspect is now particularly significant for tourists, regardless of their place of origin.”

Poland’s cultural and natural heritage is also considered a draw-card for travelers.

“Poland features Central-Eastern Europe’s largest number of areas included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It also boasts an impressive number of national parks, among which it is worth noting Europe’s largest preserved old-growth forest, Białowieża Forest, with the greatest free-roaming population of European bisons”, says Cendrowski.

Poland's growing popularity among foreign tourists is also reflected in additional surveys of tourist satisfaction. 96 percent of tourists surveyed said they were "happy with the visit to Poland" while 85 percent said that they would recommend Poland and return to the country in the next few years. 

The increase in Israeli tourists is particularly significant, considering the recent crisis between the two countries over Poland’s ‘Holocaust Law’.

“Poland and Israel are inseparably connected, both through history and culture,” Cendrowski said, “It is essential to cultivate a shared history and education, especially young people.”

An impressive range of cultural, entertainment and culinary offers, along with attractive shopping prices and a new market for budget airlines, are thought to be responsible for the increase in interest among Israelis.