Polish Tourism Organisation and LOT Polish Airlines took part in the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, where they presented information and promotional materials on the Polish tourism sector.
Held on 24-25 February, the Los Angeles-based Travel & Adventure Show was attended by more than 350 exhibitors and more than 37,000 visitors, with tourism industry members accounting for approx. 4,000 plus close to 1,000 travel agents and about 250 representatives of consumer and trade publications.
As part of the joint Polish stand, Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) and LOT Polish Airlines (PLL LOT) showcased general information about Polish tourism sector and promotional materials about the country. Representatives of the two exhibitors also made sure that no questions asked on the spot by travel show attendants were left unanswered.
The subject matter of cultural heritage and city breaks inspired the greatest interest. Since Kraków and the region of Małopolska (Lesser Poland) are Poland’s most recognizable areas, they were the starting point of many conversations, with particularly numerous inquiries about the Main Market Square, the district of Kazimierz, “Wieliczka” Salt Mine, as well as the Auschwitz network of concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Warsaw was second on the list of most talked-about cities, with attention focused on the Old Town, the Royal Castle, the Warsaw Rising Museum, and the Żabiński Villa at the Warsaw Zoo, made famous by The Zookeeper’s Wife.
Wrocław and Gdańsk are two lesser-known destinations promoted by Polish Tourism Organisation as highly recommended due to their character, history and architecture. Up-to-now less popular cities and regions, such as Łódź, Poznań, Białystok, Mazury (Masuria) and the Podkarpackie (Subcarpathian) voivodeship were also put in the spotlight. Guests inquired about, i.a. the movie-making tradition of Łódź and its setting within close proximity to Warsaw.
Poznań was perceived as a yet another noteworthy place to visit when travelling between Wrocław and Gdańsk. Białystok and the Podkarpackie voivodeship were of particular interest for people tracing the history of their ancestors or with family ties in the area. Questions relating to Mazury mostly concerned the available bicycle touring and nautical tourism options. Well-known for their active lifestyle, Californians associate Mazury with healthy leisure.
Food tourism and winter recreation also successfully attracted the interest of Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show visitors. Polish cuisine is recognized as tasty, if not always dietetic. Consequently, the availability of vegetarian, vegan and organic health food was discussed. Similarly to Mazury, Polish mountains bring to mind all types of active tourism: climbing, skiing and hiking expeditions.
An impressively large number of visitors to the stand declared that they are interested in visiting Poland in the next two years. Many shared the concrete dates and plans they already have for staying in Poland.
The direct flight connection between Los Angeles and Warsaw, inaugurated last year and handled by PLL LOT, is a significant factor in the increased interest in Poland. Its launch became an excellent opportunity to promote the country as a travel destination. POT has been conducting related promo activities since the last quarter of 2016. In 2017 the new flight’s publicity campaign was mostly run together with LOT Polish Airlines. Presence at the 2018 edition of the Travel & Adventure Show was a natural continuation of this trend.
California is among the three states distinguished by the largest interest in Poland. The number of direct flights growing from four in 2017 to six in 2018 confirms the great potential it boasts in the field of expanding incoming tourism to Poland from the U.S. market.