Poland

Polish flag for market profile
Poland

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results therefore no data from 2020 is available on the interactive chart below. Interviewing initially began at UK airports at the start of 2021, though the IPS remained suspended at some sea ports and train stations during the year. Data for 2021 and 2022 is also excluded below as there were no interviews at Eurotunnel until July 2022 and data from Dover was only collected from Q3 2021.

Read more about 2020 inbound data2021 inbound data, 2022 quarterly data as well as the latest monthly data for 2022.

Visitor characteristics

  • Almost all business visitors are male but Britain attracts more female than male leisure visitors
  • 34% of Polish visitor spend comes courtesy of visits to friends and/or relatives, 34% from business visits
  • Almost half of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • 97% of visitors from Poland are either 'likely' or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Went Shopping

Global context

Measure2019
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)9.2
Global rank for international tourism expenditure36
Number of outbound visits (m)18.7
Most visited destinationItaly

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2022
Population (m)37.9
GDP per capita PPP (US$)43,813
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)3.4
Annual GDP growth (%)4.4

Inbound visits to Britain from Poland

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Number of visits

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Total expenditure (GBP)

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Total nights spent

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Average length of stay (Nights)

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Average spend per visit (GBP)

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What the Polish think about Britain

  • Poles have a positive view of the UK ranking it overall third out of sixty nations in 2022.
  • Their most positive perceptions are in relation to culture in general, contemporary culturesportsvibrant city life, cultural heritage, and historic buildings, but areas of comparative weakness include perceptions of welcome and of the UK's scenic natural beauty 
  • The UK is strongly associated with films, museums, music, and sports
  • Although many Poles see Britain as having a strong culture and heritage offering, this is equally true of their view of France and Italy
  • Activities that appeal to potential Polish visitors include 'riding the scenic 'Hogwarts Express' (Harry Potter train) through the Scottish Highlands', 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'driving through the countryside of England', 'visiting Madame Tussauds', and 'going hiking on the South West coast'

Caring for visitors

 

  • Visitors appreciate information being available in their own language
  • British food is not a major draw for Poles, but British pubs are popular
  • Ownership of credit cards is relatively low compared with Western Europe and many Poles prefer to pay with cash
  • Around 65% of individual Polish travellers book 3-star hotels, B&Bs or hostels, although they usually book 4-5 star accommodation when on package tours

 

The leisure & travel trade

  • The Polish tourism market is dominated by many small businesses
  • The large tour operators research their main programmes between February and April
  • If you commit to the Polish market, you will need to visit your contacts at least once or twice a year

Access to Britain from Poland

Measure2022
Weekly aircraft departures387
Weekly seat capacity75,431
Airports with direct routes in Poland13
Airports with direct routes in Britain17
  • Three in five visits from Poland to the UK are made via plane
  • 641,000 of the annual 1.8 million visits from Poland are by those driving a lorry to/from Britain
  • 13 airports in Poland served 17 airports in Britain in 2022
  • Following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled flight seat capacity in 2022 from Poland to the UK recovered to 85% of 2019 levels
  • The current rate of Air Passenger Duty for visitors departing Britain for Poland is £13