Agrotravel Fair 2009
The First International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair was held 17-19 April in Kielce.
Nearly 100 exhibitors and 500 folk artists participated in the event in which representatives of farm tourism societies, Local Initiative Groups and Regional Tourism Organisations exhibited the best tourism products of their regions. For several European countries it had been the first opportunity to present their regional wealth in Kielce. Lithuania treated the visitors to their famous bread, Germany promoted the charm of Saxony. At the stand of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development one could gain information on Rural Areas Development Policy Fund 2007-2013, Entrepreneurship Development Fund, realisation and registration of tourism products within the Local Development Strategy as well as advice on protection and promotion of regional and traditional products. The visitors were introduced to the wide offer presented by agrotourism farms. They also could learn about folk tradition, craft, customs and habits or try regional cuisine.
The hosts, Marek Gos (board member of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship), Jacek Kowalczyk (the chairman of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship) and Adam Mochoń, PhD (the chairman of Kielce Fairs) were pleased by the good reception of the venture. “A small venture became huge. Poland needs a spot to exchange experience regarding rural tourism and a meeting place for Regional Tourism Organisations, Local Initiative Groups, Local Tourism Organisations and other partners”, said Katarzyna Sobierajska, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Artur Ławniczak and Katarzyna Sobierajska were delighted by organisation of the event. They said that Kielce were the perfect spot for such fair, claiming the city to be the capital of Polish agriculture and rural regions. Their voice is vital, as both resorts co-finance Agrotravel. Yet another institution supporting the fair is the Marshal’s Office of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship.
Two contests were organised during the fair:
- Contest for the most interesting stand of the 1st International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair.
- Contest for the most innovative tourism product presented during the 1st International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair.
In the contest for the most interesting stand the awards were given to:
1st place: Marshal’s Office of Łódzkie Voivodeship
2nd place: Marshal’s Office of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship
3rd place: Marshal’s Office of Podkarpackie Voivodeship
The jury decided to grant a special award to Marshal’s Offices of Małopolskie and Mazowieckie Voivodeships, as well as to the debutant on any tourism fairs – Local Initiative Group “Białe Ługi”.
Each of the 47 stands was judged mostly by the general impression. The jury also appreciated the high standard of the Local Initiative Groups’ stands (the most of which had never participated in any event of that kind before). The jury’s attention was also drawn to the involvement and professionalism of the stands’ staff as well as to the high level of locally-published brochures and other materials. Customs, grocery, craft and other highlights presented on the stands provided the visitors with long-living impressions. It was appreciated by Andrzej Mochoń, who hoped this event would become an inseparable part of Targi Kielce’s calendar.
The first three awards for the most innovative tourism product were given to:
1st place: Society for activating the inhabitants of Polesie Lubuskie for “Kraina Rumianku” (The Land of Camomile) in Hołowno and “Wioska Dyniowa” (The Pumpkin Village) in Zgliszcz, which combined together form the product called: Regional Education. Cultural Heritage of the Region.
Additional information on the product: http://www.edureg.com.pl
2nd place: Society “Lokalna Grupa Działania – Wokół Łysej Góry” (Local Initiative Group – All around the Łysa Mountain) for “Kraina Legend Świętokrzyskich” (The Land of Świętokrzyskie Legends) – a role playing field game based on the heritage and legends of the Świętokrzyski region.
Additional information on the product: http://wokollysejgory.pl
3rd place: Society “Lokalna Grupa Działania Krzemienny Krąg” (Local Initiative Group – The Flint Ring) for “Krzemienny Krąg na Szlaku Żółwia i Dinozaura” (The Flint Ring on the Turtle and Dinosaur’s Trail).
Additional information on the product: : http://www.baltow.info
The contest for the most innovative tourism product was entered into by 14 products from different parts of Poland. Not only the innovative idea, quality and attractiveness of tourism products, but also the possible opportunity of selling them was judged – the most appraised ones could be bought by travel agencies and individuals alike.
It is highly probable that the first, specialist, annual event for local product and farm tourism has been born. AGROTRAVEL is the opportunity to develop farm tourism and promote it as a vital chance for development of agricultural entrepreneurship.
The two-day long international conference entitled Prospects for Development and Promotion of Rural Tourism and Agrotourism in Poland was held simultaneously to the fair. The venture was successful as well. There were over 350 participants, including 30 international guests from 9 different countries.
The main topics were: evaluation of agricultural tourism and farm tourism in Poland, agricultural tourism offer management issues, cultural heritage in innovative tourism products, cuisine and tourism. Field workshops and study visits were the vital elements of the conference.
The organisers of fair and conference were: Ministerstwo Sportu i Turystyki (Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland), Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Świętokrzyskiego (Marshal’s Office of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship), Świętokrzyskie Biuro Rozwoju Regionalnego (Świętokrzyskie Office of Regional Development), Regionalna Organizacja Turystyczna Województwa Świętokrzyskiego (Regional Tourism Organisation of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship), Targi Kielce (Kielce Fairs) and Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii I Prawa im. Prof. Edwarda Lipińskiego w Kielcach (School of Economics and Law in Kielce)
This event was undoubtedly a tremendous success and a source of prestige for Kielce. This massive venture, coordinated by the Regional Tourism Organisation of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, was appreciated by the citizens of Kielce who appeared in an impressive turnout.