Krakow’s Multiplier – Polish Tourist Organisation about ICE Krakow
Citizens usually treat tourism only as a way of spending free time; what is worse, this attitude is shared by their political representatives. Of course, it is a pastime, too, but it is mainly a huge business – a process that requires investment and promotion. Krakow is certainly one of the places that have adopted such an approach. In 2014, a few important facilities – TAURON Arena Kraków, the ICE Krakow Congress Centre and EXPO Kraków – were put to use in Krakow. These centres have become dominant players in the regional and nationwide MICE industry. What benefits does this bring to Krakow? That is what invited guests were asked about by members of the Promotion and Tourism Commission of the Krakow City Council. ‘I’d like to emphasise the term 'meetings industry”, because this field develops very fast, particularly in our city. It has been an important part of the city's economy for the last few years,’ explained Rafał Perłowski, the director of the Promotion and Tourism Department. The city has become an extremely attractive place for the organisation of fairs, conferences and training courses since instruments for this type of activity emerged in Krakow. This fact was noticed also by the Polish Tourist Organisation. Taking into account the number of events and visitors, it ranked Krakow among top cities developing the MICE industry.
The enormous progress made by the city in the field of business tourism is reflected most strongly by numbers. Within less than a year from the inauguration of the ICE Krakow Congress Centre (the 16th of October 2014), 132 events attended by 161,000 visitors were organised. In TAURON Arena, 40 events were held. Most of them were spectacular media events, so one of the most modern European halls was visited by 710,000 persons. The success and technical advancement of the Krakow arena were appreciated by the European Arenas Association (EAA) – a European organisation representing several indoor arenas of this kind. EAA is quite an exclusive organisation – the list of its members includes, e.g., the O2 in London, Bercy Arena in Paris, the O2 World in Berlin. Tauron Arena became the 33rd and the only Polish member of the organisation.
Another investment with impressive results is the EXPO Kraków Fair Trade Centre. Last year its new location was visited by 3,000 exhibitors and 300,000 visitors. ‘In order to know even more about the potential of this industry, we performed special calculations. In other words, we wanted to learn what profits are brought to the city's budget by these activities. For this reason, we have developed a special multiplier to count the number of business partners and guests and the amount of money that they left during events or visits to food establishments and hotels. According to our calculations, Krakow has gained around 90 million PLN of income. It accounts for 2.4% of the city’s budgets, so it is a significant amount,’ summarises Perłowski.
When managed properly, business tourism can become a very important part of municipal economy in the future. Krakow's venues and the brand of the city will attract interesting events, and these should guarantee crowds of visitors. The wide-range advantages of this policy seem to be obvious. The best examples are Best Western Plus Q Hotel, which was built simultaneously with the Congress Centre, or additional 300 jobs during events organised in EXPO Kraków.
text from: Polish Tourist Organisation – AktualnościTurystyczne.pl