On May 1st, Poland commemorated the twentieth anniversary of its accession to the European Union, marking a significant milestone in its integration with Europe. Over the past two decades, EU funds have catalysed remarkable transformations, rejuvenating tourist attractions, hotels, venues, and infrastructure, renovating existing sites and creating new ones.

“Next year, the Polish Tourism Organisation will celebrate its 25th anniversary, and in May, we celebrate 20 years since Poland began its adventure with the European Union, which brought deeper integration with Europe and benefits in every region. Thanks to EU funds, many tourist sites and facilities have been renovated, and some have been built entirely from scratch,” says Aneta Ksiazek, head of the Poland Convention Bureau.

Poland has emerged as a prominent player in the European meetings and events market, evidenced by its commendable rankings in global reports. The latest such rankings, such as 23rd on the ICCA Business Analytics – Country and City Rankings and 20th on the UIA International Meetings Statistics Report, highlight the country’s rising significance in the industry. Association planners weigh various factors in their destination selection process, including geographical location, connectivity, safety, accommodation quality, and cost-effectiveness – all of which are areas where Poland shines.

The hospitality sector in Poland is experiencing robust growth, with major cities, coastal resorts, and mountain getaways witnessing the opening of new hotels equipped with conference facilities. Esteemed international brands like Nobu, Autograph Collection, and Mövenpick are making their foray into the Polish market, further enriching its hospitality landscape.

Cushman & Wakefield’s recent report indicates a steady uptick in demand and critical performance indicators within the Polish hotel market, with positive trends expected to persist into 2024. As the market evolves, there’s a growing emphasis on retrofitting hotels and embracing modern technological and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solutions.

The tourism economy’s contribution to the GDP is poised to remain resilient, targeting 6 per cent in the coming years. Foreign tourist arrivals surged by 19 per cent in 2023, reaching 19 million, while domestic trips in 2022 totalled 52.2 million, indicating a vibrant tourism landscape.

Poland Events Impact 2023 report

The meetings and events industry also plays a crucial role in the Polish economy, as confirmed by the latest results of the Poland Events Impact 2023 – Economic Impact of the Meetings Industry on the Polish Economy report. The gross value added generated by the meetings industry exceeded 22.9 billion Polish złoty, significantly contributing to the country’s economic development.

The estimated contribution of the meetings industry to GDP is about 1 per cent, and the total contribution of meetings and events to Poland’s economy in 2023 exceeded 54.6 billion Polish złoty, highlighting the industry’s impact on the country’s overall development. The meetings industry created 215,000 jobs, a significant part of Poland’s economy’s overall number of jobs.

Participants in meetings and events exceeded 18 million, indicating considerable interest among Polish residents and foreign guests. The average duration of events was 1.7 days, indicating the dynamic and diverse nature of the events. These results place the meetings industry in the spotlight, emphasising its significant role in revitalising the economy and building Poland’s strong position internationally.

Poland has recently become a preferred destination for many prestigious industry events. The involvement of Poznan in Impact’24 attests to the value of meetings and events. Hosting such a vital congress not only enhances the city’s international standing but also contributes to developing a diverse, strong, and modern economy in the capital of Greater Poland. A well-organised event delivers significant value and networking opportunities and leaves a “positive impact” – a lasting beneficial footprint in the environment where it takes place. Impact’24 is the most prestigious economic and technological event in Central and Eastern Europe, set to draw approximately 6,000 worldwide participants to Poznan this year.