2nd International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Conference, entitled Rural Tourism on Its Way to Commercialisation was held 9-10th April 2010 in the Conference Hall of Kielce Trade Fairs (Targi Kielce).
The aim of the Conference was the adjustment of rural tourism offer to the rules imposed by the market economy.
The conference was attended by over 350 participants, including 20 foreign guests from 7 different countries as well as representatives of Local Initiative Groups, Regional and Local Tourism Organisations, agrotourism societies, tour operators, scientific milieu and institutions working for development of rural tourism. The turnout of foreign guests was also impressive – the representatives of state organisations and agrotourism societies from Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania and Ireland did not fail to participate in the event. The second edition of AGROTRAVEL was held under the media patronage of Polish Television Channel 1 (TVP 1) and the partnership of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK).
The event was opened by Adam Jarubes, The Marshal of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship who said that Świętokrzyskie could easily 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.
On the 1st plenary session, Maria Sondij-Korulczyk, the Director of Counselling, Rural Education and Science Department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development gave lecture on rural tourism perceived as a chance for rural areas development. She also presented a report on the resort’s action taken to support development of agrotourism, particularly on the sources of financing within the framework of Rural Areas Development Programme in the years 2007-2013 of those services which are connected with the tourist’s stay in the rural; areas. The first plenary session was ended by Leszek Strzembicki, PhD in Cracow University of Economics who presented determiners of rural tourism product’s commercialisation process and by the speech of Jan Slaby, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic. The conference programme, which was shaped to provide the audience with interesting and exhaustive details on all aspects of running rural tourism enterprise, was additionally enriched by presentations of the following commercialised rural tourism products:
- “The Land of the Bison” (Kraina Żubra) by the Foundation for Agricultural Development (Fundacja Rozwoju Wsi);
- “Małopolska: the scent of Herbs” (Małopolska Pachnąca Ziołami) by Sądecka Tourism Organization (Sądecka Organizacja Turytsyczna);
- „The National Museum of Agriculture, Agricultural and Food Industry” (Muzeum Narodowe Rolnictwa I Przemysłu Rolno-Spozywczego” in Szerniawa.
The topics of the third plenary session included, among others, the aspects of activities within the broadly-understood agrotourism and rural tourism:
- Legal aspects of creation and sale of integrated tourism products by Jerzy Raciborski, PhD in the University School of Physical Education in Cracow.
- Financial factors of tourism products’ development by Marek Szczepański, Director of the Department of Regional Development Assistance (Departament Wspierania Rozwoju Regionalnego) in BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego)
- Cooperation and trust in preparation and management of integrated tourism products by Andrzej Hałasiewicz, deputy director of Foundation of Assistance Programmes for Agriculture (Fundacja Programów Pomocy dla Rolnictwa FAPA)
- Polish Federation of Rural Tourism’s experience in commercialisation process of rural tourism products’ by Bożena Chwiałkowska – the chairperson of Hospitable Farms (Gospodarstwa Gościnne) – Polish Federation of Rural Tourism (Polska Federacja Turystyki Wiejskiej)
- Contemporary information technology and distribution in rural tourism by Cezary Molski, assistant director of Cooperation Department in Polish Tourism Organization
The press conference with Maria Sondij-Korulczyk (the Director of the Counselling, Rural Education and Science Department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Elżbieta Wyrwicz (Assistant Director in Tourism Department of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland), Jan Slaby (the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic), Adam Jarubas (Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship) and Jacek Kowalczyk, the President of Regional Tourism Organisation was held on 9th April 2010.
After the conference, the ministers and directors visited exhibitors’ stands. They emphasised the high standard of exhibitions, tantalizing craft and delicious cuisine.
The topics discussed during the plenary sessions were particularized and extended during the workshops, held on the second day of the conference. The participants discussed the following topics:
- Legal aspects of integrated tourism product creation and sale – presentation by Jerzy Raciborski, PhD in University School of physical Education in Cracow;
- Financial factors of tourism products’ development – presentation by Paweł Lisowski, Assistant Director in the Department of Regional Development Assistance (Departament Wspierania Rozwoju Regionalnego) in BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego);
- Cooperation in the field of rural tourism and agrotourism by Krzysztof Janiak of Foundation of Assistance Programmes for Agriculture (Fundacja Programów Pomocy dla Rolnictwa FAPA);
- Distribution of rural tourism products by Leszek Leśniak from Agricultural Counselling Centre, branch in Kraków
Workshops provided participants with the unique opportunity to share ideas and experience as well as to get the experts’ opinion on the perspectives for development of agrotourism farms.
The attendants were encouraged to participate in field trips to Bałtów, Kocieczyn and Kurozwęki, where they could see the practical aspects of rural tourism products of Świętokrzyski region. The trips started on 10th April 2010, right after the conference.
The workshop for the students of tourism, entitled Conditions for development of tourism in rural regions, was held simultaneously to the first day of the conference (9th April 2010). The target audience of workshop included students of tourism, agriculture and economics as well as college students of tourism, leisure and economics. The event was organised by School of Economics and Law in Kielce (WSEiP – Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii i Prawa im. Prof. Edwarda Lipińskiego w Kielcach). Over 200 students from 8 different schools participated in the workshop. The first plenary session was introduced by Ewa Słomka, PhD, who gave lecture on determinants of rural tourism development. The possibilities of Świętokrzyskie agrotourism farms’ promotion in the Internet were presented by Cezary Jastrzębski, PhD. Marcin Szplit, PhD, focused on entrepreneurship in rural tourism and Leszek Trębacz, the owner of agrotourism farm in Ciekoty, explained the term of good practice in agrotourism farm. After the introductory part, students participated in workshops based on brainstorm activities within smaller groups of tourism and leisure students as well as BCC members who moderated the event. The topics included means and attempts to commercialise rural tourism in Świętokrzyski region – the entrepreneur’s awareness and behaviour, creation of farm’s image, promotion, advertisement, the use of natural and cultural values, business environment assistance (banks, EU funds) in development of agrotourism farm. After the brainstorm activities, the workshop was concluded by professor Wacław Cabaj who presented new rural tourism attractions.
The conference was accompanied by 2nd International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair AGROTRAVEL 2010 – the only event in Poland specialising in local product, rural tourism, agrotourism as well as promotion of rural heritage and regional rural tourism products. This year’s edition of the fair was devoted to the broadly-understood idea of rural tourism offer commercialisation. Over 100 exhibitors, including Local Activity Groups, Regional and Local Tourism Organisations, voivodeships and municipalities presented the most picturesque places of their regions.
The organisers of International Conference and 2nd International Rural Tourism and Agrotourism Fair AGROTRAVEL 2010: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi), Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland (Ministerstwo Sportu i Turystyki), Marshal’s Office of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Świętokrzyskiego), Kielce Trade Fairs (Targi Kielce), Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna), Regional Tourism Organisation of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Regionalna Organizacja Turystyczna Województwa Świętokrzyskiego). Co-organisers of AGROTRAVEL 2010: Świętokrzyskie Office of Regional Development in Kielce (Świętokrzyskie Biuro Rozwoju Regionalnego w Kielcach) and School of Economics and Law (WSEiP) in Kielce (Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii i Prawa im. prof. Edwarda Lipińskiego).
Registration form CONFERENCE 2010 – download
Programme of CONFERENCE 2010 – download