How to make a good business?
Everyone would like to have a good business that would bring him or her a lot of money, a high life position and satisfaction. But how to make it? How should you begin to get round to it? It is hard to answer the question but there are some principles that can help us.
First and foremost we must have some capital. Let’s establish – we need around 50000 zlotys. If we want, we can look for a partner but as for me I would like to do it on my own. So when we have got some money we should invest them. We can for example open a shop. But there are a lot of shops so there is a large competition and we should be aware of it and get ready to it. WE have to think what goods would sell best. Perhaps some second-hand clothes that are so popular recently in Poland? Everything depends on us, our ideas and involvement in the matter. We can also invest in education. Why not? Lots of people think about their future and want to become well-educated in order to find a good job.
That is why we can open a foreign language school. To make our potential school attractive, we should think about some interesting solutions that would attract people’s attention. Maybe low prices of courses, a possibility of taking part in interesting discussions during classes etc. We must remember that at the beginning the profit is not the most important. First we ought to encourage people, to make them believe that we are special and unique. We must have well-trained staff, good conditions of work and what is important – high quality of teaching. If not, we will not become successful. A client is our sir! We cannot forget about it. We cannot let him leave us. That is why it is very good to organize competitions or promotions. Happiness, competence and optimism will bring us success and a lot of money.
Advertising appeared for the first time in Europe early in the 17th century and Britain was the pioneer. Nowadays we can observe a great development of different means of information transfer. The mass media are connected not only with the show business, entertainment and science but also with trade, the stock exchange and other fields of economics. That is why during TV serials or other broadcasts, in nearly every magazine and newspaper, one can find, read, see or hear hundreds of advertisements. What does the phenomenon of the advertising consist in? First and foremost, it is connected with special techniques for creating adverts, striving for maximum impact on people’s minds by using psychological methods. According to a poster maker Benetton – advertisements do not sell products or ideas but a false and hypnotizing model of happiness. Half-truths rule the world of advertising. It means that commercials and advertisements creators can use metaphors and embellishments while presenting the advantages of their products. But in some countries it is forbidden as for example in France where one cannot use in commercials and advertisements adjectives and adverbs in the superlative degree.
But who is able to resist the temptation created by commercials and advertisements? Sometimes it is very hard, as we want to have the best products, to be modern. With enthusiasm we let ourselves be persuaded to follow various fashions and cults. For some time now the fashion for techno music in the Polish advertising industry has been growing more and more intense and it influences young people. Moreover, some people claim that techno music is a very popular youth subculture thanks to which it is easy to win over young people. It is commonly known that one of the most important aims of the advertising industry is to attract people’s attention. That is why most commercials and advertisements feature the young and the beautiful. It contracts with all disasters in the world: war, hunger.
To form an opinion on the problem given in the topic, it is worth watching the TV programme by Tomasz Kamel – “Kup pan cegle”. The programme exposes the mechanisms of advertising and tries to show its true, dual nature.
To sum up I would like to say that advertising is both manipulation and a marketing tool. Some psychologists say that advertising can be dangerous, as excessive submission to standards does not always bring favourable effects. And even if it seems to be impossible to avoid the contact with advertisements and commercials we can defend ourselves from its influence by treating it “with a pinch of salt”.
Speech about environment.
We approach to welcome twenty-first century. Everyone is happy because world is going to be better. The horrible illnesses and problems of population, poverty and wars started to disappear. World starts to change and everybody think: Yes, maybe tomorrow it will be better. People go to their jobs and they earn money. The most important for them it is to have a good car, big home with swimming pool. Only a few people think what happens with our environment. With trees, with rivers, with woods. Now everyone is busy and not many people see that everything what is round us is going to die.
Have you ever asked yourself how environment can be damaged? Do you think about it when you leave the light in your room when you go out? Do you read a note on the packets of some products that you buy in supermarket? I’m sure that you don’t. You don’t want to waste your time so you use deodorant with CFC, you throw the rubbish into the sea and you don’t mind when all lights at your home are switched on, do you? So, you see that everyone damages environment although he is unaware of it.
Now the most important dangers are: sun’s radiation, devorestation and pollution. Sun’s radiation are bad, very bad for our skin. If the ozone layer disappeared we would have burns and our skin wouldn’t be just like before. The burns of sun’s radiation leave horrible scars and later we could have problems. So the scientists scream: use less electricity, don’t smoke, use less products with CFC. All these things damage the ozone layer, which protects us from sun’s radiation. We should use bicycles, we shouldn’t burn forests, we should throw litter on beaches. We should be “green” and protect our planet. We have to use ozone friendly things because holes in the ozone layer might become bigger.
Poland is a country where it is a big problem with pollution. Our beaches, sea, rivers and forests are polluted and it looks horrible. People don’t want to swim or walk there. So I think that we must organise an action called Clean up the world At least for one week we could clean our hausing estates , we could put in more rubbish beens. We might join ecologists and then our planet will be beautiful.
Can the problem of crime be solved?
There is a lot of crime in our world. We meet it every day. We read about it in newspapers, hear in radio and TV, we watch films full of murders and violence.
People murder other people, even children in age 12, even less, become killers. They often do it without any available and reasonable reason. They have strange requirement , they like to see blood and pain on their victim’s face.
There are a lot of lawbreaker: arsonists, shoplifters, muggers, vandals, kidnappers, pickpockets, drug dealers, assassin, hooligans, smugglers, forgers, etc. It is dangerous to walk alone at night. We can became a victim of crime. We can meet group of young people with sticks and if we won’t give them money they will beat us.
In large cities there are a lot of unemployed people who have no useful work skills , they don’t work, can’t work, don’t pay taxes. There are also alcoholics and drug addicts. Those people steal money or goods to pay for their drugs, alcohol, food. Their crimes cost people a lot. There are also angry young people who destroy property and commit violence.
In this time more popular, on the wrong meaning, become terrorism. All world is under impression of assassination on World Trade Center. Everybody knows, who Osama bin Laden is.
But there are also many crimes which aren’t public, which haven’t got witnesses. They pass in private houses, flats. We don’t know how many women and children are beaten by husbands and fathers. Those men very often overuse alcohol or do it sobered. Women and kids are frightened and they don’t have courage to go at the police station.
Can the problem of crime be solved? I don’t think so. It is long and hard work. We can’t battle violence overnight.
I think that criminals should suffer punishment. If they don’t take penalty more people will commit violence. They will think, that they can avoid responsibility.
I think that prisons which are only for punishment don’t change criminals into good citizens. They live in bone cells, in a severe regime. When they are released they commit other crimes. The prisoners should cooperate with psychiatrists, group therapy sessions. But it is also hard work. Results depend on a person. If the criminal wants a change, he will do it. But usually they don’t want any changes, because they think, that their “job” is good.
I think that good way of rehabilitation is giving sentences to serve in the community. But not for every prisoner. Some of them, for example the one who murdered another man, shouldn’t take such punishment, because they can once again make many damages.
I don’t know what to think about death penalty. On the one hand I support it, because it is a good punishment for someone who committed hard crime. On the other hand we haven’t got a law to kill other people. We hurt their families, we deprive children of fathers or mothers, wives of husbands, parents of children, etc.
Huge variety of tourist attactions
Thanks to the liberalization of regulations, the elimination of visas, and improved standards, of tourist services, as well as a favourable geographical location and competitive prices, Poland is witnessing promotion in the world ranking of attractive destinations for tourists. It is estimated that the number of foreign tourists to Poland will increase by 3-4% per year.
Every year the number of tourists in Poland is growing. Are Polish tourist organisations currently capable of providing suitable conditions and safety for foreign visitors?
Our office is doing its best to satisfy the demands and needs of tourists. However it is not always easy as the total number of hotels in Poland is only 844 with 80,000 beds, which in comparison with almost 20 million tourists visiting Poland is a drop in the ocean. However there is more accommodation than the official number reported by the Main Statistics Office (GUS). The majority of these are rooms in private houses. Despite the fact that they do not provide a suitable standard of services, they are the only way to fill the gap in the market. Experts in the tourist market believe that Poland needs about 200 two star hotels, with at least 120 beds each. In connection with the growing number of tourists visiting Poland every year, we have witnessed an increase in the number of places available to house tourists (in 1995 it was 9,345, 199611,075, and 1997 12,000). The biggest increase was the number of hotels, increasing from 686 in 1995 to 844 in 1997.
Motels increased from 95 in 1995 to 102 in 1996 up to 120 in 1997. Guest houses increased from 305 in 1995 to 372 in 1996 up to 433 in 1997. Rooms in private houses rose from 1,760 in 1995 to 3,312 in 1996 up to 4,221 in 1997. The number of holiday camps has also increased from 224 in 1995 to 245 in 1996 up to 266 in 1997.
As a result in the increase in the tourist market, research was conducted in 1997 to examine the sport and recreational facilities provided with the accommodation. The findings revealed that 3,023 places have volley or basketball courts, 3,012 offer table tennis, 1,411 offer boat hire 1,315 offer billiards, and 1,007 rent bicycles. Nine hundred and fourty nine have play rooms for children, 840 tennis courts, 817 have a sauna and 721 have a gym.
A small a number of places provide solariums (318) and ind.oor swimming pools (170) and mini golf (145). From these statistics we can see that tourist facilities in Poland are so diverse that they can satisfy all types of tourists.
In the last few years there have been major changes in Polish tourism. What are the directions of these changes and what can foreign visitors expect as a result of them?
One of the signs of the transformation in Polish tourism is the new law regulating tourist services, which came into force on July 1st 1998. The purpose of this law is to protect the interests of tourists in line with western standards. Based on this law we are introducing a classification system for places offering tourist accommodation. The law also provides a legal basis for using the terms hotel, motel, guest house, youth hostels, holiday camps, camp sites etc, specifying a definition and requirements for each category. The law also includes penalties for misuse of these names.
The new law also regulates the requirements surrounding tourist agencies and intermediaries, to comply with the European Union Directive No. 90/ 314. The Directive emphasizes the obligation of association member states and tourist agencies to insure financial security for its clients. This insurance should. cover all payments by clients and the ability to return tourists home. The law also envisages increasing the skills and qualifications of employees and directors of tourist agencies, hotel employees and tour guides.
We very often hear how Poland is slow to adopt West European norms for protecting the environment. Relatively little is said about those many regions in Poland, where large scale pro-ecological projects are underway. How do you, Mr President, view the situation?
One of the regions particularly attractive for tourists because it has a great unspoilt variety of wildlife is called “The Green Lungs of Poland”, located in the north-east of Poland and compromising some 18% of the total area of Poland. It is a re.gion of unprecedented. natural beauty, which is relatively unpolluted. and with great geomorphologic and landscape variety. It is characterized by a great number of fore.sts and farmland, as well as a low level of urbanization and industrialization, and has a low population density. Many protected areas are also located here, such as National Parks, nature reserves, and areas of protected landscape which makes this region particularly important, not just for Poland, but for the whole of Europe.
This unique area of nature, its spa qualities and varieties of wildlife and culture make the “Green Lungs of Poland.” attractive for various forms of tourism, leisure and recreation, and spa centres. This all provides immense potential for both domestic and foreign tourism. The basic concept of “Green Lungs of Poland” initiated by the members of the Polish Tourist Country Lovers’ Association, was the harmonious and stable social and economic development of the North-east region of Poland.
The publicizing of this idea led to the signing of an agreement between regional authorities and has been taken up in government documents. The President of State Sports and Tourism Administration is one of the thirty signatories of this agreement. The administration is interested in the possibilities for tourism in this region and in introducing various forms of tourism that would fit in with the local ecology and the needs of nature.
Will foreign visitors find favourable conditions and varied attractions during their holiday in Poland?
The World Tourist Organization (WTO) places Poland 7th in the ranking of tourist travel. It is a very good position which makes it possible to satisfy tourist expectations and meet world tourist market trends. Some of these trends include: taking more than one holiday a year, city-break holidays, which are now the second low season type of travel, the increased demand for trips including an educational aspect, and the growing demand for active holidays and agrotourism, particularly by tourists from Western Europe for short stay holidays. Trends in the world tourist market have an influence on the development of tourism in Europe, including Poland. Taking into account the present demand for tourism in Poland on the primary market, as well as the potential resources and possibilities, Poland has concentrated its efforts to create and promote quality in the areas of city and culture tourism, recreational, active and agrotourism, specialized holidays, cross-border tourism as well as for business travel, and transit traffic.
Poland has a huge variety of tourist attractions. For nature lovers there is the sea, the mountains, the lakes, national and landscape parks, nature reserves, rivers, forests and numerous spas. Poland also has many historical and cultural attractions which belong to the world heritage of culture. These include ancient ruins, monuments, old towns, castles, palaces, parks, churches and museums. Another feature that makes Poland an attractive destination for tourists is the many international sports and cultural events which even by themselves are very attractive. All these attractions have tremendous potential and make people curious to visit new places. For the sports and specialized holidays which are increasingly popular, Poland offers great facilities for water sports, such as sailing, and canoeing, winter sports (such as cross country skiing as well as mountain skiing), cycling, hiking, climbing, caving, horse riding, etc. Polish traditional hospitality and openness means that Poland is a friendly country for every visitor and our tourist attractions make Poland a good destination for tourists.
Do the favourable changes in Polish tourism create opportunities for foreign investors? If so, in what areas and how are they used?
At the moment we have been witnessing the dynamic development of catering, accommodation, and recreational facilities. At the same time almost every Polish gmina and town located in attractive tourist regions has a range of offers for investors to help develop these kinds of facilities and infrastructure.
Another area of foreign investment is, for example, the construction of conference centres. East-Central Europe enjoys a lot of interest from people all over the world. That is why many international organizations hold events in Prague or Budapest. Unfortunately Warsaw is less frequently the destination for these events due to a lack of facilities. I earlier mentioned the increase in the number of accommodation and catering facilities in Poland. This is also due to foreign investors, who can see the great demand for such places and realize that Poland is a country with good opportunities for investment.
Tourism in the Nation’s Economy
The Word Tourist Organisation (WTO) places Poland 7th in the ranking of tourist travel. It is very good position, which make it possible to satisfy tourist expectation and meet world tourist market trends. Some of these trends include: taking more than one holiday a year, the increased demand for trips including an educationally aspect, and growing demand for active holiday and agrotourism, particularly by tourists by Western Europe for short stay holidays. Trends in the word tourist market have an influence on the development of tourist in Europe, including Poland. Taking into account the present demand for tourist in Poland on the primary, as well as the potential resources and possibilities, Poland has concentrated its effort to create and promote quality in the areas of city and culture tourism, recreational, active and agrotourism, specialised holidays, cross-boarder tourism as well as for business travel, and transit traffic. Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of industry of Poland.
Every year the number of tourists organisation are doing their the best to satisfy the demands and needs of tourists. However is it not always easy, as the total number of hotels in Poland is only 844 with 80000 beds. It is a drop in ocean in comparison with almost 20 million tourists visiting Poland. The rooms in private houses fill the gap in the market. The sport and recreational facilities provided with the accommodation include volley and basketball, tennis courts, playrooms for children. Many places offer table tennis, boat hire. Some of them have sauna, have a gym or hire bicycles. A small a number of places providers solarium and indoor swimming pool and mini golf. We can see that tourist facilities in Poland are so diverse that we can satisfy all types of tourists.
Poland has a huge variety of tourist attractions. For nature lovers there is the sea, the mountains, the lakes, national and landscape parks, nature reserves, rivers and forests. Poland has many historical and culture attraction, which belong to the word heritage of culture. These include ancient ruins, monuments, old towns, castles, palaces, churches and museums. Another features that makes Poland an attractive destination for tourist is the many international sports and cultural events, which even by themselves are very attractive. All these attraction have tremendous potential and make people curious to visit new places. For the sports and specialised holidays, which are increasingly popular, Poland offer great facilities for water sports, canoeing, winter sports (such as cross country skiing as well as mountain skiing), cycling, hiking, climbing, horse riding etc. Polish tradition hospitality and openness means that Poland is a friendly country for every visitor and our tourist attraction make Poland a good destination for tourists.
In 1996 Poland attracted almost 23 million tourists and visitors who spent at least one night in our country (as classified by the Word Tourism Organisation). Many of them were transit visitors but the majorities were day-tripper shoppers. According to central bank’s official cross boarder shopping generated approximately 6,3 billion USD in 1996. The average length of stay of tourist in Poland stands at 4,7 nights per person. Since 1995 foreign visitors have decelerated their main reason for visiting Poland as being relaxation and tourism and spent around $ 8,4 billion. In terms of revenue from tourism Poland holds 14th position in the world. Around 10 million Poles over 15 years old went on holiday in 1996. The majority of domestic travels stayed in private accommodation. The average Polish tourist spent 9,2 nights abroad, half of this number organised their trips individually. Most popular were trips to the neighbouring countries. Around $ 2,5 billion spent by Poles abroad in 1996.
The tourism industry is comprised of services rendered by travel agents and hotels. In practice its revenue is made up both directly (by transport companies, the catering industry, and telecommunications) as well as indirectly by companies from many sectors of economy. The latter group includes furniture manufactures, house building services, the food industry and agriculture.
According to assessment of Polish Chamber of Tourism, there is room for between 8000 to 10000 travel agents on the Polish market. Approximately a third of services rendered by travel agents by major tour operators as Orbis, PTTK, Gromada and others. The Polish market ha not created a major tourist company which could operate on a European scale. A few foreign companies have invested in the hotel business in Poland by building luxury hotels in the largest Poland cities (examples include the Marriott, the Holiday Inn). This sector is expected to grow rapidly. The largest owner of hotels in Poland is Orbis also being the largest Polish travel agent. Its network includes 53 hotels, all situated in attractive location.
Poland is likely to at least maintain its current position on the global tourism market, providing the more expenditure for the development of tourism infrastructure, improving its quality and increasing on promotion.
Business in Poland
For several years now, Poland has been arousing interest as an attractive place for investment and commerce. The private sector is currently experiencing dynamic growth: both home-grown firms basing themselves on their own financial resources and joint ventures launched together with foreign capital, which is entering Poland in increasing amounts. Some 7,000 joint ventures have already been established in Poland, engaged in production, distribution, consultancy and other services.
The giants of West European and American manufacturing and commerce are also taking part in the privatisation of Polish industry. Firms already operating in Poland include such household names as Coca Cola, Johnson and Johnson, Ikea, Siemens, Philip Morris, and many others besides.
Although this expansion of international commercial activity is affecting the entire country, Warsaw’s status as the national capital makes it the city most frequently visited by foreign businessmen. It is Warsaw which offers easiest access to all manner of legal and economic information, and it is here that we find the headquarters of various Polish business organisations which provide organisational and legal assistance to foreign business partners.
In addition to the expert knowledge which is available, those interested in doing business in Poland also have ready access to all necessary technical facilities. Orbis hotels provide professional business centres offering suitable premises, communications facilities, secretarial services and state-of the-art office equipment.
Poland has also become an interesting and convenient place for all kinds of meeting, conference, congress and exhibition. All inclusive assistance in arranging the requisite facilities is available from the ORBIS Incoming Tourism Bureau, which has nearly thirty years of experience in this field. The Bureau can boast the successful organisation of hundreds of events involving thousands of participants, and has taken part in organising undertakings of such size as the visits of Pope John Paul II to his homeland.
Depending on the number of participants, meetings in Warsaw can be held in the Victoria, Holiday Inn or Novotel hotels, or in the Congress Hall of the Palace of Culture and Science, which seats 2,500. Events can also be arranged in the Holiday Inn in Cracow, the Gdynia Hotel in Gdynia, and in numerous other stately homes and small hotels throughout the length and breadth of Poland. The Orbis Incoming Tourism Bureau is involved in the provision of three types of service:
* the organisation of participants’ stay in Poland, including hotel accommodation, transport, short sightseeing excursions, tickets for cultural and artistic events, receptions, special activities, etc.;
* the organisation of meetings/conferences, including the co-ordination of programmes and financial budgeting, the hire of halls, the provision of secretarial, technical and interpretation/translation services, the supply of photo-copying equipment and buffet facilities, the preparation of press conferences, etc.;
* the organisation of exhibitions, including the hire of display space, the construction and decoration of stands, the provision of technical assistance, advertising, publications, etc. Over the years, the Orbis Incoming Tourism Bureau has earned itself the recognition of many international organisations, including the major agencies of the United Nations and the International Congress and Convention Association.
The Polish National Tourist Office (PNTO) in London is succeeding in putting the message across that Poland is the natural choice as a tourist destination. “Over 217,500 people from the UK visited Poland in 1996. This makes the UK the second most important market after Germany. The rise in the number of tourists from the UK continues unabated. We estimate that by the end of 1997 Poland will receive about one quarter of a million UK visitors”, says Czeslaw Jermanowski, Director of the PNTO.
He is aware of the increasing importance of business travel to Poland and promotion of the country’s diverse holiday attractions as a range of products. “Within two years we have accomplished a lot. Poland is now a more interesting travel destination to the British public”.
Since the PNTO launched its London office in 1994 the number of tour operators featuring Poland in their brochures has increased dramatically. In total, more then 86 L1K tour operators have been selling trips to Poland in 1997. Thompson Holidays, one of the major players in British market, includes Warsaw and Krakow City Breaks in its 1997 catalogue, and has planned to extend its offer to include Polish nature resorts – lakes and mountains – in 1998. Jermanowski points out that Warsaw is in fact 2 miles closer to London than Madrid.
Poland is also moving up the list of important business venues. He emphasises the Polish governments support for business tourism. Two years ago Polish authorities established a tourist board committee on business travel. It helped to create new facilities for meeting, conferences and a high standard of service for individual business travellers.
This year Britain’s prestigious “Business Travel World” Magazine has once again awarded LOT Polish Airlines the title of ” Best Eastern European Business Airline” LOT emerged clear winner in this category; ahead of Lufthansa and British Airways. This year LOT has carried more passengers than ever before. Non-stop London Heathrow – Warsaw flights are being increased from 13 to 16 a week. In addition, April 1997 saw the start of the Manchester-Warsaw air-link, three days a week. There is also a London Gdansk-Krakow service.
Travellers arriving from the UK into Warsaw or Krakow find the rest of Poland easily accessible. LOT Polish Airlines maintain regular and seasonal connections with major Polish cities such as Szczecin, Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw, Krakow and Rzeszï¿½w. “One part of the Polish tourist infrastructure which has already been developed is Poland’s rail network which is one of the most comprehensive in Europe”, says Jermanowski.
The Polish government has recently realised that tourism gives the country a great opportunity. Jermanowski, who was Vice-President of the State Sports and Tourism Administration in Warsaw before coming to London in 1995, was responsible for compiling the government’s tourist development plan and for establishing a world-wide network of national tourist offices. Now tourism is part of Polish economic policy. VAT has been reduced from 22 to 7% on four and five star hotels. Furthermore, tax exemptions of up to 50% for creators of tourist infrastructure have been introduced.
The 1990-1996 period has seen the number of hotels in Poland grow by 30% as more and more Polish and foreign chains have taken advantage of the burgeoning tourist industry and favourable tax law. Major chains such as Marriott, Holiday Inn, Radisson, Forte, Intercontinental and Sheraton are all represented in Poland in Addition to the Polish chains of Orbis and Gromada. The range of medium and smaller private hotels is growing fast.
“Poland used to be perceived as very distant, small, grey and underdeveloped country”, says Jermanowski. “We’ve tried to improve its image. Today, Poland is a modern sophisticated country, with an air of optimism and development. We’ve worked hard to ensure that Poland is unpolluted and environmentally friendly. Our logo – Polska, the natural choice – shows that Poland can offer sandy coastlines, mountains, primeval forest and lake districts, along with cities rich in history and culture”.
According to the PNTO’s research, the city-break Polish market is strong. Krakow recorded the highest percentage of travellers, higher then the 26 per cent visiting Warsaw, in the first half of 1997. This reflects the increased ease of access to the “cultural capital” of Poland, soon to be “Capital of Culture” in year 2000. Market research shows that Southern Poland, including Zakopane and the Tatra mountains, is a prime destination for LTK travellers. Pomerania and Central-East Poland are the second most popular destinations.
The growth in tourist traffic to Poland is being reflected by the increase in the number of operators offering Poland in their brochures and the growth of travel arranged by their agencies. For instance between 1996 and 1997 Peltours turnover has increased by nearly 100 %, Page & Moy – 60%, and Wallace Arnold – nearly 50%. “This indicates increased business opportunities for the UK travel industry”, says Jermanowski. The Polish National Tourist Office in London intends to continue its efforts to promote Poland as an attractive travel destination. Nothing succeeds like success.