The Voice of Russia asked Igor Czukanow what place in Poland attracts most Russian tourists and what is Poland’s image from the point of view of a Russian. Igor Czukanow is the owner of Alces, a travel company that specialises in organising trips to Poland. Tourists tend to choose various packages but there is a constant demand for visits to spas or popular summer trips to the Baltic Sea, especially Sopot, which is seen as the summer capital of Poland. In the winter period, Zakopane comes out top as it is not only a skiing resort but also a perfect place for family recreation. From a sightseeing point of view, Kraków is the undisputed number one, especially since Aeroflot has begun flying directly from Moscow. Warsaw is also highly rated by Russian tourists, especially in terms of business trips. Other popular holiday choices include Gdańsk (especially in the summer where you can easily combine sightseeing with activities by the sea) and Wrocław and the surrounding area with its many beautiful castles.
New regions of Poland are being discovered by Russian tourists all the time and a large number keep coming back every year. It is hard to say who decides to visit Poland most often with both families with children, the young and the elderly choosing Poland. Tourists come to Poland by train or plane, but travelling is a problem for Russians. Let us take Mazury, for example. 90% of Russian travellers decide not to go when they find out how difficult it is to get there. Polish tour operators need to consider new logistical solutions and new destinations for Russian tourists. “My clients see Poland as a very hospitable country with delicious cuisine and good prices. Russian tourists have an extremely positive image of Poland. As far as I am concerned, there are no prejudices against Poland, although you do hear the opinion that there is nothing worth seeing in Poland, and people only go there for trade, but for the typical Russian tourist Poland is a very interesting European country with a long history and wonderful architecture”.
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