Polish Tourism Organisation took part in Belgum’s Fiets en Wandelbeurs trade show. Focused on walking and cycling, its latest edition saw record-breaking attendance of almost 17,000.
Dedicated to walking and cycling, the Fiets en Wandelbeurs show is staged in two Benelux cities - Utrecht in the Netherlands and Ghent in Belgium. For two years now Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) has been promoting its offer not only during the Dutch edition of the event, but also at its Belgian counterpart. This year, the record-breaking show managed to draw 16,605 participants, over 1,000 more than last year, despite severely windy and hazardous weather conditions.
Polish Tourism Organisation partnered up with East Poland House, a Brussels-based representation of marshal’s offices of five East Poland regions. Increasingly recognisable in the Benelux market, the Green Velo East of Poland Cycling Trail acted as the centrepiece of promotion and successfully attracted great interest of Belgian and Dutch visitors.
At the invitation of the East Poland House, the Polish stand featured Krystian Herba, ambassador of Green Velo and six-time Guinness record holder in bike trials, who in 2016 successfully climbed Brussels’s landmark Atomium building on a bike. This time, the champ presented a show inspired by his appearance in the popular Got Talent. Herba’s performance enjoyed great popularity. The most courageous spectators even had an opportunity to participate, with Herba generating applause by jumping over volunteers.
A special presentation of the Green Velo trail was staged on Sunday at 2pm and acted as the focal point of Polish involvement. Kicked off by the Krystian Herba show, the meeting in question was hosted by Marc Sprenger, an acclaimed Belgian travel journalist writing for, i.a. the popular daily La Dernière Heure, who in a highly approachable and convincing way introduced an audience of 50 to Green Velo’s main assets and tourist highlights of East Poland’s five regions. The most attentive audience members received bike-themed souvenirs, and all attendants - Polish specialties.
As an intriguing extra feature, the stand was complemented by the Time for Poland photo exhibition. Arranged by the Brussels-based Polish Tourism Organisation International Office, it presented the natural assets of Poland’s 16 regions. In 2019 the exhibition travelled through most of Flanders together with the Armoured Wings exhibition commemorating the accomplishments of the 1st Armoured Division, which back in 1944 liberated large areas of Flanders. Time for Poland will now be exhibited at forthcoming cycling events, with the Fiets en Wandelbeurs trade show as its first stop.
Fiets en Wandelbeurs’ target audience is particularly interested in walking and cycling tourism and pays a lot of attention to showcased destinations, expecting in-depth information about available active tourism options. Boasting an extensive offer in this area, Poland is an as yet unexplored and intriguing proposal for the show’s attendants.
The involvement of Polish Tourism Organisation in the discussed trade show is a part of a wider project aimed at promoting bicycle touring in the Belgian market and launched in 2019 with, i.a. the Liberation Ride commemorating the 1st Armoured Division liberating Flanders and arranged in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland plus an outdoor campaign in Flanders. The project will be continued in 2020, with fam trips, an advertising campaign and participation in Bike Brussels among the planned highlights.