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A closer cooperation between culture and tourism at the core of the Tourism Forum in Krakow

Edited on

05 January 2021
Read time: 2 minutes

On the 15th of December 2020, another meeting of the Urbact Local Group was held in Krakow in the frame of the Tourism Friendly Cities project. It was a part of a Tourism Forum organized as a partial online meeting at the ICE congress centre in Krakow. The meeting was attended, among others, by the deputy mayor of Kraków, the plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Kraków for culture, the President of the Polish Tourist Organization, the President of the Regional Tourist Organization, the director of the Wawel Royal Castle and several directors and employees of Krakow museums, entrepreneurs and residents.

The introduction to the discussion was the presentation of the diagnosis and of the results of the study of tourism situation in Krakow in 2020. The study, which has been conducted for over 10 years, allows all local stakeholders to get know the structure of visiting guests and draw conclusions for this special year. Unfortunately, the total number of visitors to Krakow amounted to only 7.95 million, compared to 14 million in 2019, while the number of foreign tourists decreased by 74.2%.

A member of the ICCA Board shared his observations of changing trends in the organization and activities of the MICE sector as a result of the pandemic.

The panel part was divided into two parts devoted to the topics:

  • The prospect of closer cooperation between culture and tourism sector in Krakow
  • Questions: Where are we going? What do we need? How can we cooperate better?


The panellists were looking for different ways of cooperation between the tourism industry and the culture in the context of post-pandemic tourism recovery. They also discussed the tools of integrated marketing communication of the city of Krakow for years 2021-2022.

The potentials of Kraków's culture and tourism and the planned future of both sectors were largely discussed. The establishment of the Kraków Culture & Tourism Hub was announced as a form of cooperation between both sectors for the development of culture-based tourism products. Also, a new concept of cluster of festivals in the city called Krakow Festivals was announced. It was created conceived for a better integration between them and with the tourism industry. The topics of the discussion were also the new concept of organizing events in the heritage space, the aesthetics of the city, new thinking about regional products and the Quality Kraków certification project aimed at introducing the principles of sustainable quality. This last topic is the subject of works under the Urbact III Tourism Friendly Cities project. Participants and numerous chat comments indicated the need for further debates and talks with all local tourism stakeholders.

In the part devoted to Kraków's marketing communication, the panellists assessed the chances of rebuilding tourism and the effectiveness of the promotional campaign planned for 2021-2022.

The event exceeded the expectations of the organizers, gathering 200 participants in the network, including those from outside Krakow and even from abroad, going beyond the formal composition of Urban Local Group. The availability of the broadcast paradoxically enlarged the audience, and its attractive, hybrid form proved that the new form of event organization forced by the pandemic can also be attractive.

Municipality of Krakow - Walas Bartłomiej