POLAND becomes increasingly attractive as a tourist destination. Its natural environment, modern infrastructure and improving access to culture and national heritage of exceptional value make the country popular with international tourists. While hard currency earnings in the tourism segment are on the increase.
The most visited tourist destinations in Poland include the Tatra, Karkonosze, Stołowe and Pieniny Mountains; Białowieża Forest; Masurian Lake District and the Wolin National Park. The most popular cities are Krakw, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Warsaw, Poznań, Lublin and Toruń.
Poland is one of Europes most heavily forested regions, with forests covering almost 30% of the countrys total area. Lands of particular natural value are protected within 23 national parks with the area of nearly 317,000 ha, enjoyed by around 11 million visitors every year. Natural sites protected by Natura 2000 include bat refuges of the Beskid Wyspowy mountain range, the Vistula Gorge near Kazimierz, the Bieszczady Mountains and the Middle Noteć Valley with Bydgoszcz Canal.
All around Poland new themed hiking routes are established, such as archaeological or architecture trails. That way tourism gains new quality by combining physical exercise, contact with nature and discovering historic buildings and sites.
Tourism intensity is seasonal. Estimated Stats on domestic tourism activities of Polish households indicate that the most popular destination for domestic tourism was the seaside (43.4%), followed by rural areas (27.6%) and mountains (19.4%).