The goal of the programme is to offer airline tickets to representatives of science, culture, sports, business and other circles (so-called Congress Ambassadors) so that they could actively participate in the process of bringing successive international meetings and business events - conferences, congresses and trade shows - to Poland.
The National Support Programme for the Meetings Industry is based on the assumptions of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme since 1998 run together by Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna - POT) and non-governmental Polish Conference and Congress Association (Stowarzyszenie Konferencje i Kongresy w Polsce - SKKP)
The complex and long-term process of securing events, with particular emphasis on international congresses, brings financial benefits to all of its participants, i.a. congress venues, hotels, entrepreneurs offering professional services in the field of event planning, transportation companies, host cities, as well as airlines. An additional value of this part of the MICE sector constitutes transfer of knowledge, technology and potentially new investments.
“The meetings industry is a so-called sector of the future offering high-quality services and the sale of intellectual property. It is among the most advanced economic sectors of developed countries. In Poland it is estimated to account for more than 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP), creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and generates a multi-billion turnover. Its growth is among the key promotional priorities of Polish Tourism Organisation, with Poland Convention Bureau (PCB) supporting our operations. This is why we are glad to have the backing of Poland’s national carrier PLL LOT”, said Robert Andrzejczyk, President of Polish Tourism Organisation.
The list of key factors decisive about selecting a given destination as the host of an event includes its transportation options (i.a. flight network), availability of high-class congress infrastructure, accommodation and the region’s research and science specialisation. The involvement and support (also financial) of cities and regions, dedication of representatives of authorities, and the role of the so-called Congress Ambassador, who secures events together with convention bureaux, are also gaining in importance.
The offer of our country to a large degree matches the requirements posed by organisers. Poland’s top selling points are its central location in Europe, the continuously expanded network of flights (thanks to Polish Airlines LOT and Warsaw hubs), high security level, affordable prices and available infrastructure plus the support guaranteed by 11 Polish convention bureaux specialized in the field of MICE.
The National Support Programme for the Meetings Industry, operated by PLL LOT, is aimed at the most active Congress Ambassadors and representatives of cities and regions. The airline tickets, which they may apply for, will enable them to take the Polish congress offer to decision makers - owners of international event brands.
“Polish Airlines LOT, the leader of traditional carriers of Central and Eastern Europe, will fly 10 million passengers in 2019. Once the Central Transportation Port is launched, we are expecting this number to grow to approx. 25 million passengers a year. LOT offers convenient connections with major Polish cities, the potential hosts of trade shows and congresses, more than 100 of the largest cities all over Europe and key non-European capitals. Our additional advantages include a well-arranged network of flights, new fleet and convenient schedule. LOT will work on expanding its offer aimed at the MICE sector. We are going to increase our share in the discussed market and together with Poland Tourism Organisation support Poland’s promotion among meeting planners. The National Support Programme is among the initiatives that will help make this happen”, added Michał Fijoł, Chief Commercial Officer, Polish Airlines LOT.
Recently the cooperation and synergy of operations conducted by regional and municipal convention bureaux, local ambassadors, the meetings industry and the support of local and national government made it possible to, i.a. bring WADA’s World Anti-Doping Conference 2019 to Katowice (where it is estimated to attract approx. 2,000 representatives of all communities involved in the fight against illegal drugs in sports). Also this year, the European Consortium for Political Research 2019, the largest annual global meeting of political scientists and sociologists attended by more than 2,000 researchers, was staged in Wrocław. Next year, Poznań will host the International Congress of Historical Sciences (ICHS) 2020, which is expected to draw more than 2,000 historians from all over the world.