Diversification of Social Capital of Sailing Community and Development of Tourist Services of the Szczecin Lagoon
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The aim of the present paper is to show the impact of the diversity of social capital of the international sailing environment on the development of tourist services around the Szczecin Lagoon and Dąbie Lake. The target group are Polish and German participants in nautical tourism in the cross-border research area. Materials for the article were collected during field studies conducted in 2009–2012. The questionnaire method was mainly used to obtain information. The paper uses elements of social capital for the purpose of creating the image of the place and promotional activities of the region. The sources of capital were: motivations for sailing, additional leisure time activities, form of sailing activity, individual choice of a place of rest as well as the most frequently chosen domestic and international destinations, as well as personal data like gender, age and nationality of respondents. Understanding capital as a resource allowed it to be used for the development of the research area. The analysis of the research results allowed to specify one characteristic which was positively evaluated by two groups of respondents and these are landscape conditions of the Szczecin Lagoon. Contact with nature turned out to be the most important motivation for sailing. On the other hand, the heterogeneity of the Polish and German sailing environment is clear in the context of age, sailing qualifications, property status, which determines the direction of cruises undertaken and other activities accompanying sailing. All the above-mentioned elements of social capital bring benefits for the research area, observed in the economic and social dimension. Based on them, promotional and infrastructural changes were proposed for the needs of the tourist services sector, including, among others, nature, cultural or qualified tourism.
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