THE WINE-TOURISM IN POLAND. THE PROSPECTS AND BARRIERS TO DEVELOPMENT
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It is impossible to find a proper place for a wine-tourism in the taxonomy of tourism branches. The wine-tourism is sometimes believed to be a form of agrotourism and its ‘happier sister’. It also constitutes an integral part of culinary tourism. As the number of participating tourists is not high and as those tourists have influence on tourist activation of rural areas, the term ‘sustainable tourism’ is also sometimes used to define this branch. Those who are keen on wine-tourism not only look for an opportunity to taste wine but also want to know local wine traditions such as cultivating grapevines, picking grapes and producing wine. They expect a comprehensive tourist product to satisfy their ‘enotourist’ curiosity and guarantee pleasant leisure time. Being in fashion and enjoying long-running fame are two main determinants to affect the choice of a destination. Although there are varied forms of enotourist product on the market, in most cases, this product is made up of four elements: – visiting vineyards – visiting wine cellars (usually not open to the public) – wine tasting – dining in restaurants in which local dishes and wine are served. In Poland there are much fewer enotourist tours on offer than in such countries like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal which proves this kind of service to be already shaping up on the Polish market. Importers, wine sellers, wine lovers associations and clubs and very few travel agencies play a great role in supplying this particular service. Although there are attempts to revive wine traditions in the Podkarpacie region and in the west of Poland (Jelenia Góra), it will be long until the wine-trail is marked out. There are still fiscal regulations which make the development of small family vineyards impossible to flourish. It causes lack of profitability of wine to production on a small scale and that is the reason for pushing all small winemakers to grey market. However, the fact of planting new grapevines in Poland is not prohibited till 2010 is an additional incentive for European investors. As mentioned above, we can say, that those who make laws are responsible for potential financial profits coming from wine-tourism development and for flowing this money to Polish farmers. If those people give a green light to produce wine, all agrotourist farms, farmers or winemakers from former EU will get a chance. It is clear that without making any chances in the present fiscal regulations, no authorized group will take advantage of wine-boom’. And it will be easier for Poland to play a role of producer of this drink than enotourist destination.
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