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Gdańsk is contributing to Poland’s growth in the MICE industry

Gdansk
Gdansk (Photo credit: Polish Tourism Organization)

The meetings industry in Poland is witnessing rapid growth, with an anticipated value surpassing $4.5 billion in 2023, contributing up to 3-4% of the country’s GDP. Positioned strategically in the heart of Europe, Poland offers a range of advantages that extend beyond its renowned history, culture, and natural beauty.

Poland is emerging as a prominent player in the global meetings sector, marking a significant milestone in its journey towards becoming a European MICE powerhouse.

Hospitality holds a paramount place in the Polish identity, ensuring a warm and welcoming experience for all visitors. 14 cities and regional Polish Convention Bureaus are focused on supporting organizers of corporate events, conferences and incentive travel with highly skilled event professionals. In addition, 17 Professional Congress Organisers and 13 Incentive Travel Companies, recommended by the Poland Convention Bureau, have successfully adapted to innovation and adjusted their offer to evolving guest needs.

More and more Polish cities have the facilities, infrastructure and qualified staff to host conferences and meetings of varying sizes and formats, which has been confirmed by the country’s significant stride in UIA ranking – climbing to the 20th spot globally in 2023. Four cities co-hosted, alongside Ukraine, a memorable European Football Championship in 2012, Warsaw held the NATO Summit in 2016, and Katowice hosted the COP 24 climate summit in 2018. The ICCA Congress 2022 in Kraków was well-received, too, drawing over 900 participants (100 speakers) from 80 countries.

Gdańsk joins Kraków and Warsaw in MICE elite

While major cities like Warsaw and Kraków boast state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure for conferences of varying sizes, Gdańsk stands out as a rising star in the global meetings industry. The historic capital of Pomerania, located on the Baltic Sea, was included recently in the UIA (Union of International Associations) ranking for the first time, where the two mentioned cities have been listed for years. The 16 organized A-class international associations events allowed Gdańsk to be noted in the prestigious list, and there are many indications that the city will be ranked even higher in the following years.

Gdańsk, for example, recently hosted the EuroSkills Gdańsk 2023 competition, a unique event that brought together industry leaders, educators, and government representatives to showcase and discuss vocational skills and excellence. The three-day event featured competitions in 42 different skills and professions, with nearly 600 talented young professionals from 32 countries honoured for their dedication to achieving world-class standards in their respective fields.

This eighth edition of EuroSkills, held every two years, served as a platform for sharing best practices, discussing global trends in education and vocational training, and addressing issues related to skill development. The success of EuroSkills Gdańsk 2023 underscored Gdańsk’s ability to unite industrial, social, and educational sectors. With its historical significance as the birthplace of Solidarity, a pivotal trade union in the fall of socialist rule in Poland, the city is a living symbol of positive change and the power of the people.

Gdańsk – 2025 European Cycling Capital

The city has been recognized by the global cycling community, which awarded Gdańsk the prestigious opportunity to host the Velo-city 2025 Congress by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). This event, scheduled for June 2025 at the Amber Expo International Exhibition and Conference Center, will be a collaboration between the ECF, the City of Gdańsk, the Pomeranian Voivodeship Marshal’s Office, International Fair Gdańsk, Polish Union of Active Mobility (PUMA), and Gdańsk Tourist Organization.

Gdańsk’s status as a cycling-friendly city, with over 850 km of bike paths and three EuroVelo routes, makes it an ideal host for Velo-city 2025. Local authorities are committed to further enhancing cycling infrastructure, with plans to construct a 36.8 km network of cycling superhighways, modernize 30 km of existing bike paths, prioritize cycling on key road segments, and introduce speed limit zones. Gdańsk actively promotes cycling as a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation, inspiring the global cycling community to advocate for its wider adoption.

Gdańsk’s dedication to promoting cycling is evident in its ambitious strategic plans for further development. The city is recognized for its commitment to sustainable transportation and aims to inspire the global cycling community to unite and advocate for cycling as an energizing and eco-friendly mode of transport. Velo-city 2025 provides a fitting platform for Gdańsk to showcase its cycling initiatives and collaborate with cycling enthusiasts from around the world.

A new, sustainable reality

Gdańsk is a city at the forefront of sustainable development. It has eliminated plastic usage by the “Gdansk without Plastic” project and promotes local culture through initiatives such as “Tastes of Gdansk,” which recreates traditional 19th-century dishes. Gdańsk has also revitalized its post-shipyard areas, creating new and appealing tourist spots that help reduce crowds in the city centre, ensuring a more balanced and enjoyable experience for both locals and visitors.

The city’s dedication to the idea of sustainability is exemplified through joining (alongside Kraków) initiatives like the GDS-Index, where cities are assessed based on their sustainability development results. It is a testament to the potential of merging tourism excellence with ecological consciousness, but more and more Polish cities are becoming increasingly attractive for organizers seeking to minimize their environmental impact.

Organizers are taking action to reduce CO2 emissions, minimize waste, and achieve independent certifications. Trends in the meetings industry over the past few years have shown that sustainability is increasingly important to both attendees and event organizers. More and more are measuring the event’s carbon footprint and making it public, demonstrating that ESG principles are not just for greenwashing but are being used to create a new, sustainable reality.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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