Research projects

Medical Tourism in Poland (started by the Tourism Department in 2015)

In the last few years, Poland has joined the countries perceived as one of the most interesting destinations for medical tourism. Revenues from the medical tourism in Poland in 2013 have exceeded 200 mln EUR, and the number of patients amounted to 600,000. It is expected that this sector will grow by 10% p.a.

What does attract foreign tourists to Poland? Mainly the price of medical services. Depending on the procedure, it is lower by up to 80 percent than in Western Europe. But the biggest assets are high quality of medical services and access to good specialists. The most popular are dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers establishment or insertion of dental implants. Also popular are plastic surgery: face lift, nose shape correction, liposuction or major abdominal surgical procedures, such as hip or knee replacement.

Despite the great economic potential the development of medical tourism generates the number of questiones (rules and insurance, reliable facilitators, certificates and accreditation procedures, social aspects and the distribution of public funds) as well as organizational problems (at least two ministers should be involved in the process of medical tourism development and promotion). all the aspects mentioned above constitute the main focus of our research since the beginning of 2015).

Aboriginal tourism clusters development in Taiwan: economic and cultural foundations vs European experience (started in 2015)

The main purpose of the study is to build on the initial work by Ritchie and Hudson (2009) on the evolution of scholarly conceptualizations of tourism experience within the aboriginal tourism in Taiwan with a view to further enhancing the understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the aboriginal tourism experience and helping to improve managerial practice in the delivery of travel experiences.

The additional purpose of the research is to find rationale for aboriginal tourism cluster formation in Taiwan and to formulate the definition and main attributes of aboriginal tourism clusters. The problem of clusters’ impact on local communities productivity and the destinations competitiveness will be discussed on the basis of the economic theory.

The above purposes gave rise to the following objectives

(1) To study the aborigines’ economic activity in the field of tourism
(2) To identify recent trends in aboriginal tourism experience in Taiwan
(3) To investigate the condition of community and culture resources
(4) To analyse the existing aboriginal tribes tourism products and the way to promote them
(5) To recommend new tourism products based on resources of aboriginal communities
(6) To assess the relative importance of “tourism experience” in Taiwan aborigine tourism
(7) To situate aboriginal tourism within the field of tourism experience types
(8) To study the role of archetypal elements in visitors’ interpretation and evaluation of different types of aboriginal tourism experiences
(9) To find rationale for aboriginal tourism cluster formation in Taiwan
(10) To formulate effective marketing tools for aboriginal tourism destinations.

The above research project has been started within the Taiwan Fellowship Program granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 2015.

Creative industries as a determinant of urban tourism development in Poland (started in 2011)

Gamification in tourism (started 2012)

The goal of the project is to present the application of gamification mechanism and social media tools in the promotion of tourism regions and enterprises as well as the promotion of tourism activity itself. The framework distinguishes between stimulus characteristics of the game (promotion mechanism) that lead to sociological responses toward the game (tourism brand) and actual buyers’ (tourists’) behaviour.

Though the game-like mechanism has been applied in tourism for decades and some funware elements are well known among teens – they hardly deal with competition of computer games. Two popular systems of tourism badges in Poland are thus discussed in order to look for reasons of their falling popularity and teenagers’ resistance to participate in the systems.

Mobile devices enable teens to combine playing and travelling. The development of mobile applications, integrating social gaming and location-based technology, has led to the growing interest in location-based social network marketing, particularly in tourism and hospitality. The project will conclude with a proposal how to revitalize an old-school system of tourism badges in Poland through the modern gamification mechanism combined with social media tools.

Generation Y on the tourism market (started in 2014)

The main aim of the research is to identify and characterize the behaviour of Polish generation Y’s representatives in the tourism market. The research includes the analysis of generation’s potential in the creation of basis for competitiveness and innovativeness in the Polish tourism market. According to the main research hypothesis, changes in the tourism market (in the structure of demand, products and services offered, in promotion and sales methods as well as in the level of competitiveness and innovativeness) will depend on:

  • the ability to identify the expectations of the new generation, the ability to select adequate forms of communication with GenY as well as the ability to adjust tourism offer to the new needs and lifestyles
  • the ability to use knowledge and skills of this generation to create innovative market offer and new means of communication with consumers
  • the level of entrepreneurial and innovative approach to shaping the conditions and working environment in tourism.

The project consists of six interdependent research units including the following areas:

  • the presence of features attributed globally to generation Y in the Polish generation Y (the analysis of features, social competencies and shared values),
  • the ways Polish generation Y lifestyles are presented in the mediated marketing communication campaigns for hospitality industry,
  • the structure of demand and consumer buying behaviour of the generation Y representatives in the tourism market,
  • tourism supply in terms of its offer adequacy to the generation Y’s needs and expectations,
  • the generation Y’s perception of labour market,
  • the ability of hospitality industry entities management to use the generation Y human resources potential.

The results of each part of research will constitute the basis for the verification of general thesis of the project, which assumes that the presence of generation Y in the tourism market boosts the innovativeness of tourism industry.

Tourism 3.0 (started in 2010)

Social Media marketing and communication, gamification, User-centered Digital Experience, Web 2.0, mobile applications and augmented reality as well as context based services and user generated content (UGC) are in the center of my scientific interests for more then 6 years. That time I started to co-operate with Polish hotels and tour-operators in their first attmepts to use Facebook and other social media in their communication process and CSR campaignes. Regretfully I am quite slow in my research while technology is very quick 🙂

Since 2013 I have started a huge project with the Mazovian Regional Tourism Organization: the gamification of Mazovian tourism product, including mobile application, system of tourism badges and competition programme which is far beyond typical tourism loyalty programme.

Tourism Development as the Determinant of Quality of Life in Village Areas (started in 2009)

The purpose of the research is to analyse how the attractiveness of tourism product is both: a result and a determinant of the quality of life in rural areas. Quantitative and qualitative research was taken in 36 villages developing rural tourism for at least 20 years in Poland. In-depth interviews were conducted with DMO leaders and cooperative locals. Direct observation was used to gain an understanding of ground reality. Round tables discussions with rural tourism managers and residents helped to make the cost/benefit analysis of rural tourism development.

The research reports the findings of three slots of two-year studies, 2009-2010; 2012-14 and 2015-16, to monitor patterns and changes in residents’ quality of life measurement and perceptions of rural tourism. The negligence and errors on the planning stage may result in a negative opinion of local residents on tourism effects, unfavourably effect the future development of tourism function, and cause the intolerable material, financial and social costs. Four fields of the tourism influence were identified: social and technical infrastructure, ecology, life attractiveness, and social capital.

Rural tourism development is considered a viable channel to attract tourists to a destination and to enhance residents’ overall quality of life. However, the perception of tourism influence on the overall quality of life depends on internal marketing and proper communication. The studies yield interesting conclusions that have practical implications for DMO and tourism leaders who continually evaluate rural tourism initiatives. Although the research referred to Polish village communities, the findings do prove that the detailed planning and DMO’s communication efforts result in a positive opinion of local residents on tourism effects, and helps to avoid the intolerable material, financial and social costs. The case studies from Poland offer the universal benchmark in managing rural tourism destinations and show the challenges that need to be adhered for the development of sustainable rural tourism destinations.

Rural Tourism Development and Sustainability in Poland (started in 1996)

The development of sustainable rural tourism has become a priority of national tourism policies and/or strategies in many countries. The need for the economic revival of rural areas, combined with the growing emphasis on sustainability, has created a new challenge for tourism as a potential means of achieving these two political goals simultaneously. Hoever not all the national strategies for rural tourism development lead to sustainability. The research concerns the principles of sustainable tourism and their relevance to the development of rural tourism. It examines how those principles can be translated into practice by the writing and implementing of regional sustainable tourism strategies, as well as considers the advantages of this approach, and offers guide‐lines for future practitioners.

Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Poland (yearly edition since 1996)

Due to the complex character of tourism economy, the estimation of tourism economic results requires the application of various sources of statistical information. The basic methodological assumptions for making such comparative estimates are included in the Recommended Methodological Framework (RMF). Its Polish adaptation was used in the elaboration of Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) for Poland. The main objective of the TSA reports is to make calculations that would permit an assessment of the tourism contribution to national economy. According to the a/m assumption, the TSA reports contain the description of the methodology and the evaluation of the following elements:

  • Tourism consumption by products incurred by residents and non-residents and indirect consumption in buyer’s current prices;
  • Global production of tourism products by types of activities in basic current prices;
  • Modified ratios of tourism added value;
  • Tourism added value and the so-called tourism GDP in current prices;
  • Employment and its structure in characteristic tourism activities (TCA);
  • Outlay for fixed assets in the TCA counted in buyer’s current prices.

Here you can find the English versions of TSA.

  • The Influence of the World Financial Crisis on the Strategies of Management in Hotel Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2010).
  • The Determinants of Tourism SMEs Competitiveness in a Global World (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2007).
  • Social cost of quality (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2003).
  • Service Process Management as the Element of Quality Management in Tourism Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2002).
  • Airlines Alliances as the Example of Tourism Industry Globalisation (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2001).
  • ISO 9000 Certification as a Tool of Branding in Tourism Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2001).
  • The Strategy of Product in Rural Tourism (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2000).
  • Services Quality as a Tool of Diversification of the Tourism Product (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2000).
  • Methodology of the “Foreign Travel” Position Measurement in the Polish BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1999).
  • Non Classified Current Turnover Position as the Standard Components of the BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1998).
  • Tourism Satellite Account as the Tool of Measuring Economic Effects of Foreign Tourism (Tempus Grant 1998).
  • Tourism in GATS (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1998).
  • Liberalisation of Tourism market in the Context of Polish Membership in OECD (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1997).
  • Tourism in the Structure of the Polish BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1996).
  • Tourism Exchange as a Specific Form of International Exchange (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1996).
  • Tourism Satellite Account as the Tool of Measuring Economic Effects of Tourism – Canadian Method (Central Statistical Office of Poland, Warsaw 1996).
  • Methodological Proposal of Tourism Satellite Account for Poland (Central Statistical Office of Poland, Warsaw 1996).

Tourism Satellite Account for Poland (1996-2012)

Since 1996 I am a member of the Tourism Satellite Account research group. The main field of my interest is tourism employment.

The first experimental TSA for Poland was prepared in 1998 (Experimental Tourism Satellite Account for Poland, “Statistics in Transition” /A. Baran, E. Dziedzic, M. Kachniewska/, “Journal of the Polish Statistical Association”, Vol. 4, No 2, June 1999).

Setting any effective economic policy and evaluating the condition of the national economy requires reliable information describing ongoing processes. It was in response to that need that a system of national accounts was created as an internally coherent set of tables describing macroeconomic developments.

The set is based on terms, classifications and accounting principles that have been agreed at the international level. The international framework used by countries to compile their own national accounts is known as SNA 1993 – a system of accounts recommended by the United Nations. Poland implemented the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995), which is a modification of the aforementioned SNA 1993 recommended by the European Union.

The standard system of national accounts is primarily focused on the analysis of macroeconomic processes. In many cases more specific information is required, in particular for the purposes of formulating economic policies. For example, it refers to those areas of economy which do not form separate concepts within institutional sectors, activities, products or services.

Tourism is one of such areas. It is for these phenomena that satellite accounts methodology was proposed, to be both closely related to the core system of national accounts and at the same time tailored to specific information needs. An initiative to develop the tourism satellite account emerged at a relatively early stage, in view of the importance of tourism as a sector of economy at the global and national level, as well as due to the lack of tools for its analysis within the framework of the core system of national accounts.

As satellite accounts for tourism are concerned, several frameworks were developed: initiatives in this respect were presented by the OECD, WTO-OMT and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The proposed accounts adopted different solutions with consequent significant differences between the results they yielded. For this reason, the OECD and the World Tourism Organization decided to co-ordinate their efforts and propose a common methodology. Such methodology was adopted and published in 2001 by the World Tourism Organization, the OECD and Eurostat, and has been recommended by the European Union as an instrument for measuring the effect of tourism on the national economy of the Member States.

In comparison with the methodology developed by the OECD, which was employed for the TSA 2000, the common methodology differed in the edition of tables; key concepts, the scope of the account and the classifications remained unchanged. Stress was also shifted for the principal objective of the account: in the OECD methodology, the objective was to measure key macroeconomic aggregates describing the contribution of tourism to the national economy, whereas in the case of the methodology proposed by the OECD, WTO and Eurostat, a detailed supply and consumption analysis was brought to the fore.

In view of the above, the Polish TSA has been compiled as a combination of both methodologies: it includes nine tables which generally comply with the new methodology, and has been complemented with tables which allow for comparison of results in both account editions. This refers to the table which presents contribution of tourism to the GDP and the table presenting information on assets involved in the supply of tourism-related products.