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Warsaw earns billions on tourism

The tourist industry’s contribution to the capital city’s GDP amounts to over PLN 15 billion. Warsaw is the first city in Poland to make such a calculation. This information is available in the most recent issue of a report prepared by the Warsaw Tourist Office (SBT – Stoleczne Biuro Turystyki).

9.6 million tourists visited Warsaw last year, including 2.7 million foreigners. Taking one-day visits into account, the number of people who visited the city exceeded 20 million. The British were among the largest groups of foreigners visiting Warsaw, followed by the Germans (11%) and the French (7%). As the SBT stresses, this year’s issue of the “Tourism in Warsaw” report includes the results of research on tourist traffic carried out according to the improved methodology which facilitates more accurate calculations, e.g. in respect of one-day visits by Polish tourists . 

“Warsaw is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for leisure and business travel. Not only is Warsaw a clean and safe city with good transport links, it is also a place full of cultural and entertainment attractions. Tourists appreciate how much we have to offer. And this translates into real financial and image benefits,” noted Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw. 

Tourism and Warsaw’s economy

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  • The average amount of spending during each visit to the city amounted to PLN 739 last year. Domestic tourists spent PLN 402 on average in Warsaw, but foreigners over three times more – PLN 1482. 
  • The report includes the results of a study commissioned by SBT and carried out by the authors of the Polish version of the satellite account methodology (at both the national and regional levels). They are internationally renowned scholars working at Warsaw’s universities (the Warsaw School of Economics, the Vistula University and the University of Social Sciences) who have vast experience in the field of evaluating the influence of tourism on economies. The research results show that tourism is of substantial significance to the financial standing of the capital city, and to its residents. 
  • The tourist industry’s contribution to the GDP of Warsaw amounted to PLN 15.4 billion in 2016, and employment in tourism sector exceeded 70 thousand.

What are the visitors’ opinions of Warsaw? 

  • The average rating of Warsaw’s tourist attractiveness is 8.18 out of 10. Interesting landmarks and monuments, friendly people and good food were among the things which made the most positive impression on tourists. 
  • According to Polish tourists, the greatest tourist attractions in Warsaw are the Warsaw Rising Museum (mentioned by 34% of research participants), the Old Town (26%), the Palace of Culture and Science (26%), and the Royal Lazienki Museum (18%). Foreigners have different preferences. They favoured the Old Town (48%), the Palace of Culture and Science (13%) and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (also 13%). 

“Tourism in Warsaw. Report 2016” was prepared by SBT on the basis of nearly 200 sources: research, studies, press releases and articles, websites, and information collected directly from institutions operating in the capital city. The data was presented clearly in the form of graphics, charts and tables. That is why the document is very reader-friendly. 

The report was divided into eight thematic blocks. They contain basic data concerning, i.a., the volume of tourist traffic, accommodation facilities, Warsaw’s major tourist attractions, and the influence of tourism on Warsaw’s economy.