In the first half of September a group of tour operators and travel agents from Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland participated in a fam trip to Pomorze (Pomerania).
After an intense period when friends heading for jubilant city breaks to Kraków were all the rage, a more demanding group of tourists from the British Isles is showing interest in out-of-town options of spending free time in Poland. A survey that the London-based office of Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) conducted among employees of travel bureaus and agents confirmed the existence of a fast-growing group of clients, enthusiasts of rural leisure, who expect offers representing the slow-tourism sector. Adapting to the new requirements of the British industry, the fam trip staged by the POT office thematically corresponded to the promotion of rural tourism.
Travel agency professionals invited by POT to take part in the fam trip to Pomorze represented leading companies from the U.K. market: Regent Holidays, The Natural Travel Collection, Not Just Travel and Wild Rhino Adventures from England, the Scottish branch of Thomas Hook and Ireland’s Barrhead Travel.
The itinerary of the first visit of British tour operators to Poland involved tours of select agritourist farmsteads of the region in question. POT’s London office cooperated with an experienced team of Pomeranian Regional Tourist Organisation on arranging the travel plan and implementing the study tour. Leading mostly through the region of Kaszuby (Kashubia), the trail allowed the participants to become familiar not only with tourist highlights, but also with local accommodation offer, both of the agritourist and hotel kind. They learnt how to bake whole-wheat bread in a homestead in Lipusz under the supervision of Karola Bober, explored the arcana of glass painting in the Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie and took part in pottery workshops in the Necel factory. Moreover, they admired the Poraj forests while riding a wagonette drawn by two horses and learnt about the charms of sailing, hiking expeditions, mushroom picking and watching the residents of distant woodlands in their natural habitat. The programme of the trip also involved classifying the standards of agritourist accommodation facilities and, to counterbalance the highlights of the Kaszuby countryside, a city break in Gdańsk and exploring the leisure options in the Baltic resort of Sopot.
For all participants of the study tour of Kaszuby this was their first time in Poland. Upon leaving the country they expressed their conviction that the companies they represent will introduce trips to Pomorze into their catalogues. The good practices of the pioneering trip will be applied by POT’s London office to stage successive editions, with the next expedition planned for October. Its programme will focus on presenting the tourist assets of Małopolska.