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Outbound Tourism from Poland to Recover to Pre-Pandemic Levels by 2024

Weakened traveller confidence, combined with strict COVID-19 measures, saw Poland’s outbound tourism numbers shrink to a fraction of what they were in 2019, according to GlobalData.

Figures from the leading data and analytics company reveal that outbound tourism from Poland declined by 62,7 percent year-on-year (YoY) from 2019 to 2020, to just 6,8 million international departures. However, international visits are projected to grow in 2022 and beyond as restrictions are eased across the globe.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Poland Source Tourism Insight, 2022 Update’, reveals that outbound travel from Poland is projected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, with international departures forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7,9 percent from 13,2 million projected international departures this year, to 18 million by 2025.

Megan Cross, associate travel and tourism analyst, GlobalData, commented, “Poland is a source market that is growing in importance due to its uptake of budget-friendly options, such as low-cost carriers (LCCs). GlobalData’s survey found that 65 percent of Polish respondents identified affordability as a main factor in deciding where to go on holiday. Additionally, digitalised services and products are now of the utmost importance when attracting the Polish market. Over a quarter (26 percent) of Polish respondents stated that they typically use online travel agents when booking a trip, which was the most popular booking method.”

Polish tourists are also showing a strong preference for sun and beach destinations, with 60 percent of respondents saying they typically take holidays of this type. In comparison, just 20 percent of respondents in the survey said they went on city break holidays in 2021, a small number, especially when compared to the rest of Europe, which averages 39 percent. This could be due to concerns regarding the pandemic remaining among travellers, with only four percent of Polish travellers responding that they are not concerned about the spread of the virus.

Cross added, “Demand for city break holidays is likely to be altered in the short term due to lingering COVID-19 fears of infection, which may drive desires to visit more rural areas. Croatia beat Italy as the number one outbound destination for Polish tourists, with easy, direct travel routes between the two countries, and many rural destinations, such as Rastoke for travellers looking for appealing active outdoor holidays.

Polish tourists are displaying distinct preferences which travel industry players such as destination management organisations, tourism boards and hotels would be remiss not to recognize considering the impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.”