Agrotravel Fair 2010
2nd International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair AGROTRAVEL 2010, a meeting place for both Polish and International tour operators, was held 9-11 April 2010 in Kielce. The topic of this year’s edition was the broad idea commercialization of rural tourism services.
The event was opened by Adam Jarubes, The Marshal of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship who said that Świętokrzyskie could become the heart of Polish countryside. The fair organisers were honoured to host the special guest, Jan Slaby, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic.
Over 100 exhibitors (agrotourism societies, Local Initiative Groups, Regional and Local Tourism Organisations, voivodeships and municipalities) presented their products and the most picturesque places in their regions. The representatives of Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Belarus lured with the main tourist attractions. Each exhibitor put a lot of effort in presentation of their tourism offer. Carefully and painstakingly prepared stands added even more charm to the whole exhibition. Local Initiative Groups and Tourism Organisations, working within the framework of tourism and rural tourism development, had a great opportunity to arouse interest of Polish and foreign subjects selling tourism services as well as individual customers in their offer.
At the organisers, co-organisers and media partners’ stands one could gain information about the steps taken to promote rural tourism. It is worth emphasising that one of AGROTRAVEL partners was Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) and the main media partner was TVP1 (Polish Television Channel 1).
AGROTRAVEL 2010 created a great opportunity for exhibitors to promote and sell constantly developing rural tourism offer as well as to meet tour operators and individual customers. AGROTRAVEL is the unique event specialising in tourism and rural tourism. Its secondary aim is to promote rural heritage and regional cuisine.
On the first day of the event, local folk groups performed on stage set in exhibition hall, which helped to promote rural folklore and customs. It created rural atmosphere in large and otherwise formal exhibition hall. Due to the national mourning after the tragic plane crash in Smolensk, performances planned on the second and third day of the event were cancelled. However, the decision was made to continue the event, yet without music, dance and amusement.
Visitors could try and buy regional products, participate in craft, custom, daily life and rural tradition show within the fair. In the regional inn one could try regional dishes and liquors, cakes, cold meat, honey and many more delicacies from all over Poland.
The exhibitors could participate in three contests organised within AGROTRAVEL 2010:
- Contest for the most interesting stand.
- Contest for the most interesting rural tourism package promoted during AGROTRAVEL.
- Contest for the most interesting agrotourism souvenir.
The awards in the contest for the most interesting stand were granted to:
1st place: Marshal’s Office of Lubuskie Voivodeship
2nd place: Marshal’s Office of Lubelskie Voivodeship
3rd place: Marshal’s Office of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship
The jury decided to give the special award to the Marshal’s Office of Małopolskie Voivodeship and Local Initiative Group “Krzemienny Krąg”” (“The Flint Ring”)
The awards in the contest for the most interesting rural tourism package were granted to:
1st place: Nadbobrzańska Przygoda of Local Intitiative Group: “Kraina Lasów i Jezior”
2nd place: Daleko od Szosy – blizej do zdrowia of Agro- and Ecotourism Company “Platte”
3rd place: Szlak żelaza i Kowalskich Tradycji Ziemi Wojciechowskiej of Municipal Culture Centre in Wojciechów (Gminny Osrodek Kultury w Wojciechowie).
The awards in the contest for the most interesting agrotourism souvenir was granted to:
1st place: Kapliczki i Świątki Małopolskiej Wsi by Sądecka Organizacja Turytsyczna
2nd place: Podkowa na Szczęście by Municipal Culture Centre in Wojciechów
3rd place: Mazurskie Złoto by Marshal’s Office of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship.
The jury decided to give to special awards:
- Wiewiórka (The Squirrel) by Partnerstwo Dorzecza Słupi
- Szumek by Stowarzyszenie Agroturystyczne „Susicec”
The award giving ceremony was held in Łysogóry hotel during Świętokrzyskie feast in the presence of Katarzyna Sobierajskia, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland. The winners were given specially-designed statuettes, diplomas and cups financed by Czesław Siekierski, PhD – member of the European Parliament.
The fair was accompanied by International Conference entitled “Rural Tourism on Its Way to Commercialisation”, which was attended by over 350 participant, including over 20 guest from 7 different countries. Experts and employers of rural tourism sector gave lectures on problems and possible solutions relating to many aspects, such as legal aspects of creation and sale of integrated tourism products, financial aspects in development of tourism products and cooperation in the field of rural tourism and agrotourism. The conference was enriched by study tours to Baltów, Kurozwęki and Kocieczyn. The participants could see practical aspects of rural tourism products in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship.
Workshops entitled „Conditions for development of tourism in rural regions” in the School of Economics and Law in Kielce was held simultaneously to the fair events. The target audience of workshop was a group of school youth of tourism, agriculture and economics schools as well as students of tourism, leisure and economics. The overriding aim of the event was to provide them with the basic knowledge and a set of advice in creation of rural tourism offer, to show rural tourism as a possible source of workplaces, career and active form of environmental protection, as a way of creating role models in local communities and as a way of initiating entrepreneurship. The workshop was attended by over 200 students from eight different schools.
AGROTRAVEL fair prove that a small initiative can become a significant enterprise. By becoming an integrated part of Kielce Trade Fairs calendar, the event is very possible to be as well recognisable as POLAGRA fair in Poznań.