Tourism: another record broken!
Almost 9 million visitors came to Krakow in 2012, spending a total of PLN 3.5 billion during their stays – such are the numbers quoted by the research conducted for the Krakow Municipal Office by the Małopolska Tourism Organisation. The results were presented on Thursday, 6 December, at the Municipal Office during the 20th Tourism Forum.
“Of huge importance is the fact that despite the difficult situation of tourism in all of Europe and its largest cities, we have managed to maintain the growing trend and increasing numbers of tourists visit us every year,” Magdalena Sroka, Deputy President of Krakow for Culture and Promotion of the City, said during the opening of the Forum. “Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the joint effort of many institutions, among them the Municipal and Marshal’s Office, the Krakow-Balice Airport as well as all the organisations and people involved in tourism,” Magdalena Sroka stressed.
In 2012, Krakow was visited by 6 600 000 people from Poland and 2 350 000 people from abroad, which gives a total of 8 950 000 visitors. In comparison with last year, the number grew by 340 000 people. Over 77% of these people were tourists. During their stays, domestic visitors would spend PLN 317 per person on average, with foreigners spending even PLN 596 per person. This gives a total of PLN 3 500 000 000 (excluding the cost of travel and pre-paid accommodation). For comparison’s sake, in 2011 visitors left PLN 2 900 000 000 in the city.
In 2012, yet again, the inhabitants of Great Britain constituted a majority among foreign visitors (23%) and the number grew as compared to 2011, when they constituted 20.00% of guests. Germans ranked second again with 13% (12.6% in 2011), followed by Italians with 9.4% (9.5% in 2011), the French with 9% (7.5% in 2011), the Spanish with 8.5% (10.5% in 2011) and Russians with 5.9% (4.9% in 2011). Among domestic visitors the inhabitants of Małopolska were a majority (24.5%), followed by the inhabitants of Mazovia (10.5%) and Silesia (9.4%).
The main goal of visits remains seeing historical sites (26.8%), while the number of people declaring leisure as the goal of their visit has grown significantly, to 24.5% (13.3% in 2011). These are followed by entertainment with 7.1% and religious purposes with 5.6%. Other goals quoted include professional matters, participation in cultural events, education, shopping as well as participation in congresses, conferences and training.
As far as the choice of means of transport is concerned, most foreign visitors come by plane (70.8%), and most domestic ones by car (47.4%). Visitors most often stay in hotels (47.68% of foreigners and 14.4% of Poles) and hostels (26.29% of foreigners and 8.84% of Poles).
The following were quoted most often by foreign visitors as the source of information on Krakow: family and friends (53.01%), school (41.17%) and the internet (38.81%). Visitors from Poland indicated school first (65.3%), followed by family and friends (61.15%) and television (30.88%).
Both domestic and foreign tourists provided a highly positive evaluation of the city’s atmosphere, hospitality and local residents’ friendliness, along with cultural events and entertainment (clubs, pubs and discos). Over 91% of domestic and over 87% of foreign tourists will recommend Krakow to their friends. 74.5% of foreign visitors and over 86% of domestic ones declare the will to visit Krakow again.
Representatives of the Małopolska Tourism Organisation, the Krakow Chamber of Tourism, Gremium Małopolska Hotel Chamber, the Krakow Merchants’ Congregation, the Marshal’s Office and the International Krakow–Balice Airport as well as hotel owners and keepers, gastronomes, representatives of travel offices and guides had all been invited to participate in the 20th Tourism Forum.
Along with a summary of the 2012 tourist season, the Forum’s agenda included a summary of the activities of the City of Krakow Historical Museum in 2012. Additionally, information on the changes in the connection network of the International Krakow–Balice Airport was presented as well as information on the Eagles’ Nests Trail.