Polish Tourists and Their Recent Tourism TrendsThesis

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Polish Tourists and Their Recent Tourism Trends

Polish Tourists and Recent Trends

The forces of globalization have changed the way we now see and live life. The fact that social, political, technological, cultural and economic features have transcended boundaries materialized in new features, to which the contemporaneous society has quickly adapted. Technological innovations in the United States were brought to emergent European countries, making the lives of individuals easier. The transfer of capital from highly developed countries has resulted in the opening of new corporate plants in less developed countries, to culminate with the creation of additional jobs and the formation of a more reliable source of economic stability.

The examples of how the forces of globalization have impacted the social climate are endless and basically present in all backgrounds. An interesting topic relative to globalization refers to the modifications in traveling habits. These have significantly increased throughout the past recent decades and individuals now travel more for both business and leisure purposes. Proof of this stand the significantly improved local and international infrastructures as well as the statistics revealing recent traveling patterns.

An analysis of the available information will reveal that not only the individuals in highly developed countries travel more nowadays, but also those in emergent economies. Their traveling behavior has been insufflated by global patterns, but also by the liberalization and opening of their own boundaries. A relevant example in this instance is Poland. The topic addresses a rather niche domain and the specialized literature on this particular field is rather scarce. A detailed look at the materials available however will be able to support the reader in forming an opinion.

2. General Information on Poland

Poland is the 21st largest economy of the globe in terms of measured gross domestic product for 2007, with an estimated GDP of $623.1 billion. The history of the country has been an extremely tumultuous one. Poland was established towards the middle of the 10th century and it reached its golden age during the 16th century. Between 1772 and 1795, it was divided and occupied by Russia, Prussia and Austria. It gained its independence in 1918, but was soon afterwards invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union during the World War II. In 1999, Poland joined the NATO and in 2004, they joined the European Union. The country's economic stability and growth remains a challenging task and the state continues to register high unemployment rates, low infrastructure developments and high levels of rural poverty (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008)

Poland is a central European country, located east of Germany, north of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, west of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania and south of the Baltic Sea and Russia. Its official name is the Republic of Poland from the local "Rzeczpospolita Polska." The legislative basis is ensured by the country's constitution, based on the Napoleonic code and several communist principles. Poland is currently undergoing a process of democratization.

The central European state measures a total area of 312,679 square kilometers, slightly smaller than New Mexico. Their climate is generally temperate, with cold influences and the land is plain, with some mountainous formations in the southern parts of the country. The main natural resources of Poland are coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, salt, amber, silver and lead.

The estimated population in Poland is of 38,500,696 individuals, and the population growth rate is of a negative value (-0.045%). The life expectancy at birth is of 75.41 years. The Poles are generally an educated nation, with 5.5% of the country's GDP being spent on education. The literacy rate is of 99.8% and the average number of years a Pole spends in school is of 15.

In terms of economic performances, Poland's GDP growth rate has been following an ascendant trend. The income per capita in 2007 was of $16,200, as opposed to the $10,000 GDP per capita measured at a global level. The large majority of the income is generated by the service sector, followed by industry and agriculture. The unemployment rate was estimated at 12% and the inflation rate was of 2.5% (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008).

The economic problems in Poland reached their historical peak during late 1980s, when the centrally oriented economy registered an inflation rate of 55% and the federal deficit was reaching sky high limits. Throughout the 1990s, several economic reforms were developed and implemented, but their success had been mixed, revealing both positive, as well as negative outcomes. The inflation rates were however reduced from 55 to only 35% by 1993, and this increased the morale of the population and the economic agents. Then, the country liberalized its market and the access to merchandize, as well as the quality of these goods and services, has dramatically increased. Finally, the increased emphasis on international trade is making Poland realize its growth potential through exports (Ebrill, 1994).

Privatization and the attraction of foreign investors have constituted a long-term goal of the Polish officials and the recent years prove their successes in this field. Investors generally come to Poland due to the cheaper workforce and they support the country's economic development. The price on the environment is however a high one to pay. The pollution matters (such as acid rains, deforestations or the contaminations of fresh water resources) were being resolved with the reduction in industrialization, but the new multinational plants bring the issues once again into discussion.

Poland generally produces fruits, vegetables and animal derivate products, such as eggs, dairy or meat. They mainly export machineries and transport equipments, intermediate manufactured items, food and animals to Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Russia. The import commodities revolve around machineries, manufactured goods, chemicals, minerals and fuels and they are generally imported from Germany, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, France and China (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008).

What is relevant in terms of Polish tourists are the features of transportation. They could be summarized as follows:

123 airports, 83 with paved runways heliports

23,072 kilometers of railways

423.997 kilometers of roadways

3,997 kilometers of waterways ports and terminals (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008)

3. Polish Tourists and Recent Trends

As it has been stated in the introductory part, the topic of Polish tourists and their trends and habits represents a niche area of interest. Ergo, the specialized literature has placed a reduced emphasis on it. There are however some sources which present relevant information for those interested in the trends and habits of Poles. The following pages will present data from various sources of information, including books and even internet websites.

In Tourism in the New Europe, Rhodri Thomas and Marcjanna Augustyn emphasize on the direct relationship between tourism trends and the country's economic development. "Tourism is an integral part of people lifestyles in many countries. In Poland, it is developing slowly and this process is connected with the evolution of Polish tourism consumption." Thomas and Augustyn base their findings on the research conducted by the Institute of Tourism and the data refers to individuals over the age of 15. Some relevant statistics presented by the two authors could be summarized as follows:

the years before 1970 have been characterized by a dynamic growth in domestic tourism between 1970 and 1994, domestic tourism in Poland registered a massive decrease an increase in domestic tourism occurred again between 1995 and 1999, but was followed by a decrease starting with 2000 in 1999, 63% (91 million trips) of the Polish population engaged in domestic tourism; out of these trips, 66 million were short breaks and 25 million were longer vacations by 2004, only 48% (40 million trips) of the population was engaging in domestic tourism; 25 million trips were short and 15 million were longer relative to international tourism, however the numbers are smaller, they are more stable in 1999, 14% of the Polish residents were undertaking trips abroad; it accumulated for 7.5 million trips by 2004, the number of Poles who were engaging in international tourism had fallen to 12% representing 6.3 million trips

The most desirable locations for abroad trips were represented by European countries, with two exceptions. Egypt and the United States of America received 0.1 million Polish tourists in 2004. The most popular destination of Polish tourists is Germany, receiving 2.3 million Polish tourists. It was followed by the Czech Republic, with 0.55 million tourists; Slovakia, with 0.55 million tourists; Italy, with 0.50 million tourists and Austria, with 0.35 million tourists. However the actual statistics for these countries are not revealed, the next best preferred destinations are the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Ukraine. As a parallel with the economic characteristics of Poland, it can easily be observed that the population generally prefers to take trips within the countries that are Poland's primary international trade partners.

The most common purpose in engaging in international tourism is that of sightseeing, recreation and entertainment and in 2004, accounted for 38% of all trips abroad (the number has however declined from 44% in 2002). The second most common goal of an international trip… [END OF PREVIEW]

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