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The Polish tourism industry benefited from the organisation of Euro 2012 championship last year. The number of foreign tourists visiting Poland in 2012 was the highest in five years, while the spending of foreign tourists reached the highest level since 2000. The total spending of foreign visitors in Poland during the Euro 2012 alone totalled PLN 1bn (EUR 247.7mn). However, we note that the effect of the sports event upon revenues in the tourism sector were not limited to boosting sales in June alone, but also rose the foreign visitors’ interest in Poland and extended the tourism season to September and October, thus allowing the sector to record higher revenues even in Q4.
In 2012, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the GDP reached PLN 80.4bn (EUR 19.2bn), or 5% of GDP, up from PLN 75.9bn in 2011, according to estimates of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The domestic tourism recovered in 2012, after the 12.7% y/y decline in 2011, both in terms of short-term and long-term travels, according to official statistics. The number of outbound long tourist trips also increased by an impressive 70.9% y/y to 9.4mn in 2012, thus recovering from the 16.7% y/y decline in 2011.
The activity in hotels, restaurants and catering sector recorded positive y/y performance in 2012, mainly on the back of the one-off sports event and the expansion of large players, but overall customers maintained cautious consumer behaviour and the situation is unlikely to change abruptly in the short run.
Accordingly, smaller players will continue to struggle to survive, facing negative effects from the shrinking disposable income of consumers, while large players move on with expansion.
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