Dawid Lasek, Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism, discusses Poland’s recent efforts in the development of country’s local and regional tourism industry, pointing out the opportunities that the sector offers.
European Times: What is the Ministry’s role in Poland’s tourism industry?
Dawid Lasek: Ministry’s main aim is to develop the national policy of tourism, support the spatial planning processes on local and regional level, and expand the business sector in the field.
The Ministry is supported by Polish Tourism Organization, intermediate, operational body, which is responsible for promoting Poland as an attractive tourism destination and coordinates the system of cooperation between the 16 regional tourist organisations and 104 local tourist organisations in all touristic regions of Poland. Having in mind the necessity to strengthen and support the local level of partners on the field, such as communes, local organizations and small business enterprises, we are focusing on reorganization and their greater inclusion in Poland’s tourism policy. The POT also undertakes active role in the promotion of Poland abroad by coordinating work of 15 offices in major cities all over the world.
European Times: What are some recent developments in the tourism sector?
Dawid Lasek: The Ministry’s priority is the development of new regulative that implements the European standards, creating national tourism policy oriented mainly on the local and regional levels of tourism.
Currently Poland’s tourism sector contributes with up to 6% of the country’s GDP, and additional increase trends are expected, taking in consideration the current geo-political situation in the region, which puts Poland in safe touristic destinations. Holding the Presidency of the Visegrad Group, we are also cooperating with our neighbouring countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, on the development of an international project named Central Europe Branding House, with intent to support the Central Europe territorial brands and attract foreign investors and tourists from China, America and Western Europe.
European Times: Why should international investors and travellers choose Poland as touristic destination?
Dawid Lasek: There are many successful foreign investments in Poland’s tourism sector, mainly done in hotels, restaurants, spa and sport resorts, from countries such as Austria and Slovakia. The country’s main interest is to keep the current and attract new investors in cooperation with the local stakeholders, whose development is supported by the new policy in the tourism sector.
Considering that the country offers versatile destinations, rich with cultural and natural features, open minded people, developed road, air and water infrastructure, with geographic position in the centre of Europe, it is the perfect destination for international investors and travellers. I personally believe that Poland offers many touristic opportunities, new experiences and has potential for tourists with different interests.