To the mountains, the sea or Masuria? The answer to this question usually depended on what type of trip we wanted. This season, tourist preferences may determine the destination of a holiday trip to a lesser extent, and prices to a greater extent. We check which of the most popular regions of the country among tourists is now the cheapest.
Poland is the country with the second highest price growth dynamics in the tourism sector in the entire European Union – according to the data of the Polish Economic Institute. Prices in hotels and restaurants increased by 16% over the last year. Larger, because 17 percent. growth was recorded only in Bulgaria. For comparison in Italywhere growth was the lowest, prices only jumped 5%.
It has become expensive in our country, definitely more expensive than in previous years. We will pay the most on the Baltic Sea, both in hotels and restaurants, but a trip to the mountains or Masuria is also associated with high expenses. More important than which part of Poland we choose is which resort we stay in. In the most popular and largest, it is not the most expensive.
Where do such price differences come from?
– The tourist market in Poland is this year extremely misregulated – says Sebastian Nasiłowski, treasurer of the Polish Chamber of Tourism. – In popular resorts you can find both high prices and prices at which we will catch our heads and ask: how is it so cheap here? – explain.
And he gives an example: – In the center of Władysławowo, next to each other, there are two facilities of a similar standard. In one of them the price per person in a double room is PLN 110. In the second – a thousand zlotys more.
Where are the differences from? As Nasiłowski explains, this year’s prices largely reflect how property owners dealt with the challenges of the last two years: a pandemic, war in Ukraine and inflation.
– COVID and the situation across the eastern border have created uncertainty, which has translated into a reduction in the number of bookings. They have also increased interest rates. This forced the owners, who usually base their investments on long-term loans, to compensate for their losses by raising prices, says the treasurer of the Polish Chamber of Tourism.
Larger cities, lower prices
Katarzyna Łaskawiec, co-author of the travel blog Polska Po Hodzinach, notes that the greatest increase in the price of accommodation in Polish resorts was not recorded this season, but two years ago, during the first vacation during the pandemic.
– The owners compensated the losses related to the restrictions with higher rates. For safety reasons, more tourists opted for guesthouses and agritourism farms, so the increases were even higher there than in hotels – reminds Łaskawiec.
It is most expensive where the season is shortest. – That is why in the summer the highest prices can be found in smaller towns, such as Hel. In Ustka, Kołobrzeg or the Tri-City, where tourists come virtually all year round, the seasonal price increase is not that clear. In addition, the offer is much larger there: from budget facilities to those in the premium category. Everyone will find something for themselves – says the blogger.
Most expensive on the Baltic Sea
It was about price trends, now it’s time for specifics. Average price of a week’s stay in Masuria for a couple with two children, when booking via Booking.com for August, it is in the range 3-4 thousand zlotys. We are talking about hotels or apartments of a good standard, located in the towns mentioned by the blogger – popular, but seasonal. Both in out-of-the-way towns and in Olsztyn, it will be at least a few hundred zlotys cheaper.
Similar prices can be found in the main tourist centers in the Tatra Mountains – Zakopane or Bukowina Tatrzańska. In smaller towns A family of four will easily find a flat to spend in a week, for less than 2,000 zlotys.
The most expensive is by the Baltic Sea. Over there for a week’s stay in a three-star hotel in a large resort, parents with two children will pay at least PLN 4,000. zlotys. It is cheaper in towns located further from the most popular resorts, but there too we will not go below 2,000 PLN for a week.
Those who did not wait until the last moment to book their accommodation, paid a few hundred zlotys less. They also had access to a wider offer. According to the information presented on Booking.com, more than three-quarters of rooms and flats in August are already occupied. Reservations can also be made directly in the facility, which will be less convenient, but will increase the chances of finding an attractive price offer.
Season of “horror receipts”
Even more than the high prices in Polish hotels, there is talk of the famous “horror receipts” from restaurants in seaside or Masurian resorts. Internet users are scared by photos of bills amounting to almost PLN 100 – for one person, sometimes for the main course only. Until such high amounts are rare, the high price in the case of fish with potatoes and salad more often means around 50 zlotys, not twice. But the photos circulating on the web did not come out of nowhere, in the absence of knowledge and a bit of bad luck, you can find such an offer.
Nasiłowski points out that “horror receipts” scare mainly in resorts that live mainly from tourism. – Many restaurants, e.g. in Władysławowo, operate in a seasonal mode. Landlords must earn a full year’s income within two or three months. Service in such establishments often works for the lowest domestic one, so its increase automatically translates into higher prices. As food becomes more expensive, too, the owners are forced to pay raises of 10-20 percent. And there are also those who try to take advantage of inflationand they raise prices even by half – says the representative of the Polish Chamber of Tourism.
Desserts were also more expensive. Being the flagship ice of the Baltic resorts A drill, even a small one, costs at least PLN 7-8. The bigger one – no less than a “nozzle”. For the wafflesA few years ago, the auger available at today’s price, in a version with a few extras, we will pay now over PLN 20. So as much as you could eat dinner a few seasons ago.
The mountains do not remain in debt to their competition from the north of Poland. Grilled oscypek with cranberry before the pandemic it cost PLN 2-3. Today we will not find a seller who would offer it at a price lower than PLN 5. In Zakopane Krupówki the price of a highlander delicacy more and more often it is approaching the limit of 10 zlotys.
Poles’ holiday plans
And how do high prices translate into Poles’ holiday plans? According to a survey conducted at the end of May at the request of the Polish Tourist Organization, 65 percent. residents of our country planned a holiday trip. It’s about 18 percent. more than a year ago, when tourism was still paralyzed by the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A similar percentage of respondents declared that they intend to spend more on vacation this year than a year ago. It is not a result of an improvement in the financial situation or a change in approach – in twelve months the prices have simply increased so clearly that it is difficult to count on lower or even similar expenses.
Simultaneously more than half of the respondents want to spend no more than PLN 2,000 per person on a summer trip. Only 17 percent. of respondents assume that their holiday expenses will exceed PLN 3,000. And yet, with the ubiquitous high prices, meeting even this amount can be quite a challenge.
Although Poles want to travel, the current season for the domestic tourist market is worse than previous years, even those where the economy was paralyzed by the pandemic. Nasiłowski says by 20 percent decline in occupancy in Polish hotels and guesthouses. – After lifting most of the restrictions related to traveling, tourists choose to go abroad instead of vacationing in Poland – he adds. It is not cheaper in the south of Europe, but the prices do not differ from the Polish ones as clearly as they did a few years ago.