Optimistic outlook for Polish tourism
Gradual opening up of the Polish economy continues after the lockdown period caused by the coronavirus outbreak. One of the stages in the process was associated with the permission to reopen hotels, which came into force on 4 May. Tourist facilities had been closed for a little more than a month. The biggest threat is over though, and now hotels and other facilities are resuming operations with double the force, while demand for Polish tourist services is by no means waning. This year, high occupancy rates in many tourist facilities may be expected. Poles will for the most part travel domestically, and this trend is likely to continue for some time. Considering the high probability of further growth of the leisure industry, investing in real properties for lease, for instance at the Polish seaside, appears to be an interesting proposal for those looking for a good return on their investment.
Travel abroad with obstacles
It is hard to predict at the moment when it will be possible to travel abroad freely. The suggested date is 15 June, when state borders within the European Union are scheduled to be opened. This does not mean, though, that people will be able to travel everywhere. Air traffic is currently very limited and even though the coming weeks might bring the resumption of foreign flights, travel will continue, probably for a long time, look differently from what we were used to experience. It is not impossible that some tourist destinations will be partly locked down a little longer. There are regions of the world which have been affected more badly by the pandemic, which will force a prolonged isolation of their residents. Also anticipated are considerably longer procedures for passengers boarding a plane, which will effectively discourage many tourists from travelling to distant places. In addition, it is possible that some regions will require incoming travelers to undergo expensive coronavirus testing. Leisure within the Polish borders appears the most comfortable way to spend a vacation.
Poles will rely on local tourism
Nearly 80% of Poles are planning a leisure trip this year. Analysts indicate that over 90% of them will probably spend their vacation in Poland. Already about 30% of Poles have planned to travel in May or June. This shows how much they want to leave home after the lockdown. 27% of those who want to travel domestically have selected the Baltic coast as their ideal destination. Slightly more tourists have expressed their interest in vacationing in the Polish mountains (34%). Domestic trips provide an opportunity to discover frequently forgotten charming places and natural qualities of Poland. Many Poles will probably spend their vacation in Poland for the first time, finding the aptness of the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. Is this trend likely to continue?
We believe that new opportunities have opened before Polish tourism. After the difficult period, there comes a time of exceptionally high interest among Poles in travelling locally. Those tourist facilities which will be capable of taking advantage of this situation have a chance of winning over new groups of loyal patrons for a long time. I also think that confining Poles to traveling domestically will bring benefits no only to particular facilities but also to entire regions whose values will be discovered anew. Most Polish health resorts have been transformed greatly during the recent decades. These are places attracting the most demanding tourists, also foreigners, offering plenty of high quality attractions and luxurious accommodation. And many Poles still associate these places first of all with relics of previous periods and a crass atmosphere of the past coming from stands with plastic Chinese products and waffles. This is precisely the time to present the transformation that has taken place to more people and convince them that Poland is really beautiful, modern and worth rediscovering. If this change is noticed by some of the tourists who gave up on domestic travel years ago, they may start to think that it is worth reconsidering their long-held preconception - commented Żaneta Kornas, advisor to the Management Board of Baltic Wave Sp. z o.o.
Foreign neighbors may visit Poland more frequently
Experts from the European Union have selected Poland as one of the safest countries to spend holiday this year. It turns out that Poland may become one of the countries which will gain the most in popularity among foreign tourists. An important group who may contribute to the recovery of the Polish tourism may be Poland’s western neighbors. According to Thomas Bareiss, the German Vice Minister for the Economy, one fact to Poland’s advantage is that the country has managed quickly to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. What also matters is the modern road infrastructure connecting Poland and Germany. Owing to this infrastructure, tourists will avoid air travel, which, as was mentioned before, may be significantly delayed. A few hours’ trip by car (for example, 3 hours from Berlin to Kołobrzeg) seems much more comfortable and effective. Germans have been very eager to visit Poland so far, and they have been an exceptionally large group of tourists in Kołobrzeg, the largest among foreign visitors to the city. All tourist facilities in the city are perfectly capable of catering to German speakers, who can buy German newspapers from newsagents and may enjoy popular German dishes in restaurants.
A greater interest in vacationing in Poland among foreigners is undoubtedly a very good sign. Even more so, considering that many of them spend on average more money during their visits than Poles, which provides an additional stimulus the local economy.
Tourist facilities continue to be good investments
Travelling has become an increasingly important aspect of our lives. The time of being forced to stay at home made many people realize it much better. Currently, travelling takes place in exceptional conditions. Tourist facilities must satisfy a number of restrictive health requirements. But tourists are not discouraged by them. Quite the opposite: they express their desire to travel and get to know new places. This is a good sign for the travel industry. The situation associated with the pandemic is no longer a shock to most people. Action plans have been developed, a vaccine against the coronavirus is being developed and all of us have adjusted to living in slightly different circumstances. Moreover, campaigns are underway promoting tourism in Poland, showing the beauty and value of Poland as a country for travelers. In view of these facts, the argument may be confidently upheld that investing in tourist facilities, including condotels, aparthotels and apartments for rent at the seaside, is still a good investment of capital. It is especially worth paying attention to premium properties, about which we wrote in the previous post. The value of such properties does not go down in times of crisis, which is why they offer an exceptionally good protection of invested cash.
 “Over 90% of Poles plan their 2020 vacation in Poland”, a survey by Profitroom
 “Vacation plans of Poles”, a survey by the Polish Tourism Organization