Latest report of the Statistical Office in Poland estimates point to 49% decline on International Tourism in Poland. The closure of borders decreased the chances of tourism development, which is one of the contributors of polish economic growth. Though the country is able to control the high spread virus of Covid-19, tourism sector doesn’t operate even keeping the strict requirements and now many representatives are unemployed.
A polish tour guide Paweł Tadejko doesn’t expect huge changes for future as the pandemic hit in a way that nobody would risk their lives for traveling.
“Not knowing what is the next and how long the pandemic situation will last makes me feel indistinct. I am a freelancer and all my living depends on the tours I used to guide. Now I only know only a thing that no tourist travels even operating with small groups and taking the necessary measures,” says the tour guide by adding that polish tourism is slowly dying because of pandemic and the recovery process is as far as his eyes can see.
UNWTO reports that travel restrictions of COVID-19 are worldwide and “With more than 9 out of 10 people in the world living in countries which have put in place cross-border travel restrictions, the current pandemic is more global and will cover a much longer period than previous health-related crises. By comparison, crises such as SARS in 2003, the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, and MERS in 2015 were of a smaller scale and the impact on tourism was more localised.” It concludes that the widespread nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the depth of the economic crisis mean that the tourism recovery will be slower.
The tour guides and other representatives of the field in Poland are in search of new jobs such as cashiers, language teachers, couriers and so on.
“Pandemic shifted my profession which I like and do with great pleasure. Since last September I have been working as a courier and enjoying alone the beautiful sights of my city. I impatiently wait for the day when this nightmare will end and I will have as many tourist as I used to have,” tells Lola, 28, who works as a tour guide more than 5 years. Besides this work she cooperates with her colleagues and organizes online tours, which aren’t enough interesting and popular among international tourists.
“We have online walking tours and exhibitions taking the same approach of museums and galleries of Poland. The results of online events are not that much welcomed and the reason is not that online guides are not good or experienced, but people are tired of online life,” concludes Lola.
Reopening and closing of Polish economy caused severe damages to hotel business’, as well. Recently published statistics show:
“In 2020, 17.9 million tourists were accommodated in tourist accommodation establishments, with 51.4 million overnight stays. Compared to 2019, it was less by 49.9% and 45.0%, respectively.”
Thus, countries around the world are on different sides of overcoming the pandemic and recovering the economy sourced by tourism through reopening and closing. Meanwhile, tourist organizations and guides of Poland think that even if people overcome the infection quickly, it is impossible to expect a large number of tourists for near future.