Which countries are visited by the Poles? The official data 2015

The Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) has recently published (Data source here) the official data about the travels abroad of the Poles.[i] The information is very interesting because describes in a detailed way this part of the tourist demand generated by Poland and finally we have the official data about the most visited Countries by Polish travelers.


Source: GUS

Germany is by far the main destination of the Polish travelers. It attracts more than 20%  of the total of the journeys abroad of the Poles. Italy is the second Country but a huge gap separates these two destinations. The Peninsula, in fact, attracts “only” the 8% of the travelers, more or less the same number of UK in the third position. The situation changes significantly dividing the global data according 4 categories:

  1. Business travels.
  2. Visit Friends and Relatives (VFR)
  3. Holidays.
  4. Other (a residual group)

The following graphic shows the weights of these categories.


Source: GUS

Holiday travels represent the 57% of travels abroad, VFR, frequently associated to the holiday, is a motivation pretty popular: it’s shared by a third of the travelers. The business travels weights the 7% of the foreign journeys.

Let’s start with Business Travels. The following graphic confirms the leadership of Germany. Far in the following places there are France, UK and Czech Republic.


Source: GUS

The theory connects the rank of the countries, destinations of business travels, with the rank of the countries purchasing exported products and services.  If we consider the following table the theory in the case of Poland looks like confirmed.

Rank of the most important Countries purchasing products and services exported from Poland

  1. Germany


  1. UK


  1. Check Republic


  1. France


  1. Italy


Source: (http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/pol/)

Visit Friends and Relatives sees in the top position the countries that have been destinations of the emigration of Polish labor forces.  Also in this case, Germany is the main destination, followed by UK and Ireland the most popular destinations of the Poles looking for the job.


Source: GUS

How we will see in the last graphic, the VFR plays an important role as travel motivation for attracting the Poles in many other countries even if they aren’t in the top positions of the general rank (See for example Netherland, Sweden, Norway, etc).

Finally let see the outbound holidays of the Poles with at least one night spent in foreign countries. The most visited is Italy, followed by Croatia and Greece. The “Other destinations” that joins together the countries not included in the list of most important destinations absorbs more than half million of Polish travels and represents the fourth choice.


Source: GUS

It means that the countries of Asia, of Latin America and Africa divide among them this huge amount of travels.

It’s worth to close this post with a comprehensive view of the incidence of four travel motivations analyzed country by country.

Slide1 - Copia

Source: GUS

The previous graphic shows in a clear way that the first three destinations of the Poles, Germany, Italy and UK occupy their positions because they attract travelers with different motivations:

  • Germany  is popular for VFR (mainly) and business travelers,
  • UK attracts VFR
  • Italy is requested by holiday makers.


Author: Gilberto Zangari

Feel free to report the previous post but please quotes: OUTgoing POLAND, The Polish Tourist Workshop


The data are collected through quarterly surveys with very large samples (more than 18.000 interviews each wave)