Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4

Tourism transitions, changes and the creation of new spaces and places in Central-Eastern Europe


Tourism transitions, changes, and the creation of new spaces and places in Central-Eastern Europe

Marek Więckowski, Jarkko Saarinen

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 369-377 | Full text

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This paper outlines the general context of tourism, and the changes it underwent, in the Central and EasternEurope (CEE) countries post-1990. The role of European Union enlargement is also discussed, allowing for an overall highlighting of the outcomes for tourism of the CEE countries’ political, administrative and institutional transformations. In essence, the development of transport systems and infrastructure have combined with the changing socio-economic conditions people experience to impact economically, socially and culturally– expanding the opportunities where tourism is concerned, as well as competition between countries and regions when it comes to attracting both tourists as such and investors. More specifically, the rapid privatisation of state-owned assets ensured a major impact in changing and developing tourism in the CEE, with the communist/post-communist structural changes in general proving a crucial catalyst underpinning most of the changes noted. This paper further serves the function of concluding contributions making up this special issue, and thus seeks to outline new future directions by which tourism in the CEE countries can be researched from the perspective of human geography.

Keywords: Tourism, transition, post-communism, Central and Eastern European countries (CEE), development, European Union

Marek Więckowski [], Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Jarkko Saarinen [], University of Oulu Department of Geography P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014, Oulu: Finland

From socialist icons to post-socialist attractions: Iconicity of socialist heritage in Central and Eastern Europe

Nikola Naumov, Adi Weidenfeld

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 379-393 | Full text

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The 1989 fall of the Iron Curtain marked the beginning of new economic, socio-cultural and political realities for the former socialist states in Central and Eastern Europe. Along with the economic restructuring from state centralised to market economy, democratisation and liberalisation initiated a transformation of the socialis turban space, which was characterised by the changing role of its iconic landmarks. This conceptual paper examines these post-1989 changes, which range between the removal of these landmarks and their transition into market led iconic and flagship attractions. The paper identifies the changing role of tourism from a top bottom orchestrated to a market led activity, which explains the transformation of some of these landmarks. It introduces a new framework for studying this process by suggesting that iconisation, de-iconisation and re-iconisation processes are interrelated to other strategies and approaches to the transition of the socialist urban landscape into a western market economy. The paper identifies avenues for further research and provides some recommendations for improving the management of similar processes.

Keywords: iconicity, socialism, heritage, tourism, visitor attractions, Central and Eastern Europe

Nikola Naumov [], Higher Colleges of Technology Fujairah Women’s College Al Qasar, Kuwait Road, Al Faseel, PO Box 1626, Fujairah: United Arab Emirates; University of Northampton Waterside Campus, University Drive, NN1 5PH, Northampton: United Kingdom
Adi Weidenfeld [], School of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business & Law Coventry University, Jaguar Building CV1 1FB, Priory Street, Coventry: United Kingdom

Intensive tourist-related urbanisation impacts on a mountain village: The case study of Veľká Lomnica in Slovakia

Lucia Petrikovičová, Alfred Krogmann, Dana Fialová, Andrej Svorad

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 395-408 | Full text

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A key feature of contemporary tourism is massive investment on the part of developers in tourism-relatedurbanisation, with this made most manifest in the construction of recreational apartment houses, and the expansion of ski slopes and golf courses. For obvious reasons, such activities are directed at traditional centres of tourism, which respond to the current trend towards hedonism present in society. However, major development activity has also taken place in municipalities in which tourism only began to play its more significant part once social and political transformation had already occurred. An example is the Slovak municipality of Veľká Lomnica, a village in which golf-course construction has initiated large-scale development projects.The aim of the work described in this paper was precisely to address this example in assessing the impactof tourism-related urbanisation on the municipality in question. 

Keywords: tourism-related urbanisation, impact of tourism, Veľká Lomnica municipality, Slovakia

Lucia Petrikovičová [], Faculty of Natural Sciences Department of Geography and Regional Development Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 949 74 Nitra: Slovakia
Alfred Krogmann [], Faculty of Natural Sciences Department of Geography and Regional Development Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 949 74 Nitra: Slovakia
Dana Fialová [], Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development Charles University in Prague Albertov 6, 128 00 Praha 2: Czech Republic
Andrej Svorad [], Unaffiliated researcher

The Northern Ladoga region as a prospective tourist destination in the Russian-Finnish borderland: Historical, cultural, ecological and economic aspects

Svetlana V. Stepanova

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 409-428 | Full text

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The work reported here has examined the transformation of the Northern Ladoga region (a natural and historicalregion in the Russian-Finnish borderland) from ‘closed’ border area into a prospective tourist destination in the face of changes taking place in the 1990s. Three periods to the development of tourism in the region are identified, while the article goes on to explore general trends and features characterising the developmentof a tourist destination, with the focus on tourist infrastructure, the developing types of tourism and tourism-oriented projects. Measures to further stimulate tourism as an economic activity of the region are suggested.

Keywords: tourism development, the Northern Ladoga region, tourist destination, Russian-Finnish borderland, Republic of Karelia, political and socio-economic changes

Svetlana V. Stepanova [], Karelskie Centrum Naukowe Rosyjskiej Akademii Nauk, Instytut Ekonomii

Polycentric intra-urban development of hotels: Evidence from Budapest

Tomasz Napierała

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 429-442 | Full text

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The aim of the paper is to understand evolutionary changes of hotel intra-urban location policy during the period of the economic transition. Thus, the theoretical model of polycentric intra-urban development of hotel facilities is introduced in this research. Polycentric development is defined as the result of two ongoing and contrary tendencies: (1) spatial sprawl of hotel facilities resulting from new hotel investments, and (2) concentration of hotel enterprises, which is the effect of demand-based and production-based agglomeration processesof hotel facilities in particular locations. To examine this theoretical concept, the changes of spatial distributionof hotel entities in Budapest since 1982 were investigated. Kernel density estimation was applied to identify thenumber, location, and area of clusters of hotel services. Empirical evidence confirms the proposed theoreticalmodel of polycentric intra-urban development of hotels, although significant hotel clusters are only formedin the central districts of Budapest.

Keywords: hotels, polycentricity, city, Budapest, evolutionary economic geography

Tomasz Napierała [], Uniwersytet Łódzki, Wydział Nauk Geograficznych; CiTUR Centre for Tourism Research, Development and Innovation

The role and importance of Promotion Centers in creating the image of tourist destination: Romania

Grigore Vasile Herman, Jan A. Wendt, Răzvan Dumbravă, Maria Gozner

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 443-454 | Full text

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The expansion of tourism at regional and global levels requires considerable efforts from those involved, if tourist-destination management is to be optimized. In that context, the purpose of the work underpinning this article has been to emphasize and quantify the roles and functions that responding examples of Romania’s Tourist Information and Promotion Centers play and serve, as they seek to create and promote for their country the image of attractive tourist destination. Indicators taken account of in the work relate to tasks set out in the domestic legislation put in place to accredit the said National Tourist Information and Promotion Centers. Results obtained using the questionnaire method, though limited quantitatively (to just the 35 out of 110 Centers that responded positively to the research team’s request), are suggestive in qualitative terms, providing valuable information that successfully reflects the role and importance of Centers of this kind in outlining and developing the image of Romania as a destination for tourists.

Keywords: promotion center, tourism destination, local tourist products, destination imaging, Romania

Grigore Vasile Herman [], Faculty of Geography, Tourism and Sport University of Oradea University Street 1, Oradea, 410 087: Romania
Jan A. Wendt [], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Oceanografii i Geografii
Răzvan Dumbravă [], Faculty of Geography, Tourism and Sport University of Oradea 1st University Street, 410 087 Oradea: Romania
Maria Gozner [], Faculty of Geography, Tourism and Sport University of Oradea 1st University Street, 410 087 Oradea: Romania

Profile of tourists visiting cultural heritage cities: Comparative study of selected cities in Central Europe

Mariola Tracz, Małgorzata Bajgier-Kowalska

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 4, pp. 455-468 | Full text

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The aim of this paper is to explore the profile of tourists visiting Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. These cities were selected for their rich cultural heritage and change in volume of tourism in recent years. Survey data(N = 550) and statistical data on tourist volume were used to show similarities and differences in tourist characteristics in terms of socio-demographics and purpose of travel. The study concluded that most tourists visiting these cities are from Western Europe. The main purpose of travel is associated with cultural tourism offerings and entertainment. The study results help understand impact of city tourism development strategies on the tourist profile.

Keywords: capital cities, cultural heritage cities, tourist profile, urban tourism, Central and Eastern Europe

Mariola Tracz [], Polish Geography Society, Branch in Cracow Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Krakow: Poland
Małgorzata Bajgier-Kowalska [], Faculty of Law, Administration and International Relations Department of International Tourism and Social Geography Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University Gustawa Herlinga-Grudzińskiego 1, 30-705 Kraków: Poland