Polish Language Blog

Pluses and minuses of Euro 2012 for Polish tourism Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Culture, Current News

Although between 700,000 and 1.5 million foreign visitors (goście zagraniczni) are expected in Poland during Euro 2012, Poland’s tourist industry (przemysł turystyczny) says the championships are a mixed blessing (mieszane błogosławieństwo).

The organization of the European football championships will bring both short and long term effects for the Polish tourism industry.

Campaigns promoting Poland abroad (kampanie promujące Polskę za granicą) will have a positive effect, long term (długoterminowo), in changing the image of Poland internationally.

Over the next 2 to 3 years, the organization of Euro 2012 should bring a noticeable increase in the interest of foreign tourists to Poland.

This will contribute positively to the development of infrastructure (rozwój infrastruktury), such as airports (lotniska) and connections to city centers (połączenia do centrum miast), motorways (autostrady) and express roads (drogi ekspresowe) and public transport (transport publiczny).

But soaring hotel prices during Euro 2012 have left many with empty rooms during the championships.

In some hotels, even five-star, only 30 percent of the rooms have been reserved.

A similar situation observed in Austria four years ago [when Austria and Switzerland co-hosed the championships] but this was not taken into consideration when setting price levels.

Many Poles have put off plans to travel within Poland until after the matches are over in early July. I will be traveling in Poland during that time, so I will have my personal experience, which I will share with you in July!

And what do you think? What are pluses and minuses of Euro 2012 for Poland according to you? Please share your thoughts with us in comments below:)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Pete:

    As a Brit living in Poznan i think it’s a great thing for Poland. I first came to Poland 12 years ago and the difference to the infrastructure now is fantastic. Locals may be thinking if all the delays caused by roadworks may have been worth it, but with a positive mindset you can see that this tournament has helped pull Poland into the 21st century.

  2. Miriam:

    If only 30% of hotel rooms are taken, where will all the tourists be staying?

  3. russ:

    My (rather negative) opinion:

    Such events are boondoggles promoted as helping the local economy, but in practice a gigantic stadium which can’t economically sustain itself gets built at taxpayer expense and the local economy loses in the end. (Of course the savvy promoters initiating and hyping the project usually make money from such events.)

    It’s too bad society (as a whole – not just Poland) seems so eager to spend huge amounts of money on a couple weeks of extremely hyped football matches instead of using the money for (e.g.) improving education, healthcare, public transport, environmental protection, etc.

    With the Olympic games, we are starting to see more awareness about this, e.g. articles about controversies about the upcoming London Olympics and the past Beijing Olympics; I hope this awareness will spread to include other over-hyped sport events.

  4. Adam:


    This isn’t equally true for all countries, and this has a lot to do with the level of economic development. In the case of highly developed, very rich countries these sorts of sports events do little to nothing or even worse for the local economy. In continually developing countries, of which Poland is one, the story is different. By the way, a relatively small percent – I think around 10%, I’m not exactly sure – of funds allotted for Euro was spent on stadia. The rest actually did indeed go to things such as infrastructure and the like, and the economic benefits of this will be considerable as Poland has a long way to go to make its infrastructure more appealing for foreigners.