The latest edition of the General Meeting of members of Tourist Information Forum (Forum Informacji Turystycznej - FIT) and Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) assumed a unique virtual formula. Staged on 11 December, the meeting was attended by Rafał Szlachta, President of POT.
Key agenda topics focused on present and future challenges related to tourist information sector’s involvement in supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, options for cooperation on launching various initiatives and informational and promotional campaigns, as well as on presenting the Polish Tourist Voucher programme.
A crucial aspect involved the declaration of cooperation on undertaking diverse initiatives and informational and promotional campaigns, involving tourist information points and aimed directly at market stakeholders. Number one on the list of POT’s essential and fundamental projects of this kind, the Polish Tourist Voucher is intended to reinforce the tourism industry and national economy.
The annual Tourist Information Forum meeting also acted as an opportunity to sum up this year’s projects and introduce successive actions and campaigns meant to build up Poland’s image and tourism sector.
The session involved 120 representatives of certified tourist information points and centres from all over the country. The list of POT’s delegates included President Rafał Szlachta, Vice Presidents Anna Salamończyk-Mochel and Arkadiusz Opoń, Elżbieta Wendeker and Maciej Malski, Directors of the Branch Office, Jacek Janowski, Director of Department for the Promotion of Domestic Tourism, and Arkadiusz Osipiuk, Deputy Director of POT’s Department of Internet Communication.
President of POT emphasised the need to strengthen POT’s cooperation on communication in the domestic market, which next year will be subject to increased activity during the pandemic and its gradual slowdown. Polish Tourism Organisation will modernise ICT tools and digitalise mobile tourist information as part of expanding the Polish System of Tourism Information at home and abroad.
Vice President Anna Salamończyk-Mochel also confirmed POT’s openness to cooperation with certified tourist information points and centres, with particular emphasis on promoting the Polish Tourist Voucher project. She highlighted the relevance of close cooperation supporting tourism businesses when implementing the programme in question. She informed FIT participants about the planned amendment of the act on Polish Tourist Voucher intended to achieve greater consistency between provisions defining “tourist events”. Salamończyk-Mochel also ensured that progress is being made on expanding the scope of accommodation variants, optimally convenient functionalities and on facilitating Voucher project registration.
Maciej Malski, Director of POT’s Branch Office, presented the latest data on implementing the Polish Tourist Voucher project and the degree of its utilization in particular regions. He argued that activation of the programme’s promotion is significant for reaching successive recipients, also in cooperation with tourist information centres.
In the course of the General Meeting, Marcin Pałach, Chairman of FIT’s board, presented a report on its 2020 operations and discussed proposed strategies of FIT’s next year actions undertaken in cooperation with POT.
Jacek Janowski, Director of POT’s Department for the Promotion of Domestic Tourism, covered completed actions related to the process of tourist information’s e-certification, which updated the regulations and criteria of standardising tourist services for particular ratings (one to four stars) awarded to tourist information points to be certified in 2021. A new mobile application will be applied for the purposes of next year’s competition for Poland’s top tourist information centre.
In addition to intriguing discussions, informative speeches and diagnoses, the agenda of FIT’s meeting also encompassed a training panel.
The General Meeting participants had an opportunity to exchange good practices on tourist information operations in Croatia Tourism. Last but not least, they learnt more about the sector’s framework in the tourism-specific integrated qualification system involving the Educational Research Institute and about the “Turystyka w mig” project for hard of hearing travellers.