TOUR SALON 2019 - summary

The 30th edition of the TOUR SALON Fair of Regions and Tourist Products was held on 1-3 February 2019 in Poznań.This tourist festival was attended by nearly 200 exhibitors representing 16 countries, and the entire Passions fairs block was visited by 40 thousand people!

This year's edition was held under the motto "Travelling is an art." Travelling is an art in many different ways. Travels teach us the principles of good planning, group cooperation and achieving the objective. Thanks to travelling, we have an opportunity to commune with art. Finally, doing business in the tourism industry is an art itself, and it requires knowledge and skills. In this spirit, we have prepared this year's TOUR SALON edition. We wanted it to be a place where we celebrate every aspect related to travel – we encourage everyone to discover new places, we show their qualities, we experience new things together with the invited travellers, and we support the development of the industry through meetings with experts. – explains Maria Szczepaniak, Project Director.

The first day of the Fair was dedicated to the education of young people and industry meetings. From early morning, the exhibition halls were filled with over five hundred students, not only from Wielkopolska, who took part in the Best Lesson Ever! project. The Geography lesson was prepared for them by Tomasz Zubilewicz – a geographer and popular weather forecast presenter, and Szymon "Simon" Radzimierski – a young adventurer. The Karolkan Educational Space Design Foundation invited everyone to design using 3D technology together. At the stand of the Poznań ZOO, one could also get to know the habits of the ZOO inhabitants. The classes on ecological and artistic dimension of the underground life forms, prepared by the University of Arts in Poznań and Adam Mickiewicz University were also much interesting. During the classes, an installation reflecting the arrangement of roots of plants and fungi hyphae, and on its basis it was possible to observe the interactions between particular elements. Best Lesson Ever! is a project that aims to show young people how beautiful and interesting the world around us is, and encourage them to discover it. For teachers and carers, in turn, it is a great opportunity to get to know the offer of trips dedicated to schools. – says Maria Szczepaniak.

When young people were discovering the world as part of the Best Lesson Ever!, at the stands business talks were held. The invited tour operators and representatives of travel agencies could learn about the offer concerning not only the most popular destinations, but also more exotic ones like Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama and Chile. In the conference rooms and on the small stage special projects dedicated to the tourism industry were also held – projects concerning marketing or legislative solutions related to the industry. One could take part e.g. in free workshops organized by the European Commission dedicated to the digitization in the tourism industry, as well as training sessions prepared by the portal on the target groups in the tourism industry and ways to communicate with customers. The Fair also featured meeting summarizing the first months of the new regulations on the conduct of business in the tourism industry, organized by the editorial staff of the Rynek Turystyczny magazine.

Saturday and Sunday at TOUR SALON, in turn, was mainly characterized by meetings with travellers invited to the TOUR SALON Travellers Festival. The large stage hosted e.g. Jarosław Kuźniar, Miłka Raulin, Tomasz Zubilewicz and Mateusz Waligóra. Simultaneously, the small stage was functioning, which attracted a large audience during the presentation of Monika Bruch from Poznań, who took part in the Bike Jamboree relay race and the relay race of Anna Grebieniow, a naturalist who spent 10 months in the Antarctic research station. Each meeting ended with the possibility of individual meetings with the invited guests, taking photos and getting autographs. This year, the TOUR SALON Travellers Festival was not only a source of inspiration, but a real energy bomb. After meetings with travellers, many of our visitors who were invited to TOUR SALON, wished to pack up and hit the road immediately. There were also those who came to us and told us who they would like to meet during the next edition of our Festival. This is the best recommendation for us, and a signal to develop this part of our project. – says Maria Szczepaniak.

The "Following the Trace of Dreams" Travel Festival, organized as part of TOUR SALON, was an opportunity to meet various travellers. Again, each lecture gathered a wide audience, and the final of the event was the announcement of the results of the Golden Trace competition. The Jury awarded Dominic Szmajda and his history "Pontonem przez Kongo" (Through Kongo in a Rubber Dinghy). The other places were taken by: 2nd place – Ryszard Jakubowski (Powsibroda) – Via Balkanica, and 3rd place – Anna Majchrzak and Paweł Szymański - Rowerowa Japonia (Japan By Bike).

The exhibitors' stands also tempted with numerous attractions. You could try your hand at the climbing wall from the Eagles' Nests Trail, learn the secrets of the production of the Meissen porcelain, take a virtual tour of the Energylandia theme park, or smell the forest of the Świętokrzyskie region  in the 5D cinema capsule. The Fair visitors were much interested in the possibility of relaxation in particular regions and attractions worth seeing, as well as hiking or bicycle trails recommended.

TOUR SALON was also an opportunity to hold official meetings of industry representatives and present awards in competitions summarizing the achievements of the previous year. During the Fair opening ceremony, we learnt e.g. the winners of Róża Regionów (Rose of Regions) awarded for the best projects promoting Polish tourist products by the editors of the Wiadomości Turystyczne magazine, as well as the winners of the "Tour Operator of the Year" National Competition, aimed at honouring the best tour operators on the Polish market, which is organized by the Chamber of Tourism of the Republic of Poland and co-organized by Regional Tourist Chambers being the members of the Chamber of Tourism of the Republic of Poland.

Moreover, the certificates awarded since 2010 to tourist information facilities by the Polish Tourist Organization, in cooperation with regional organizations (list of certified facilities >>>) were also presented, as well as the award in the TRAPER 2018 competition organized by Grupa MTP and the Polish Chamber of Tourism for the best cooperation with the tourist industry, which was won by the City of Poznań.

This year's TOUR SALON once again has become a place of inspiration for the lovers of travel. The opportunities presented by the exhibitors will certainly be reflected in the travel plans of our visitors, and they will translate into orders in the upcoming spring-summer season, and the emotions that accompanied the meetings with travellers will remain in the hearts of guests for a long time, and they will be an impulse to explore the world and discover new paths.


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