After the great success of the Czech operator RegioJet, which is now bringing Czech tourists to Croatia by train for the second season in a row, Jutarnji list finds out that Polish tourists could start arriving at sea by rail next year.
That negotiations with the Poles are already open was confirmed to us by the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Alen Gospočić, who this week participated in a conference on trains in Krakow with Polish State Secretaries of Transport and Tourism, as well as representatives of HŽ and the Ministry of Tourism.
So far, it has been agreed that at the end of August a promotional tourist train will arrive in Croatia – most likely Rijeka or Split – from the Polish region of Krakow, which has about 10 million inhabitants, mostly filled with Polish journalists and officials with a goal to promote the establishment of a functional tourist-railway connection between these two countries.
Gospočić revealed that after the arrival of this promotional train, the idea is to get to work and prepare the conditions for the next tourist year so that Polish tourists can start arriving in Croatia by train. This is an extremely important market that shows great interest in coming to Croatia, and although until recently there was a railway connection between Poland and Croatia, it has not been functional since the beginning of the pandemic, so the idea is to create a completely new railway line.
Some unofficial sources say that the Warsaw-Split line is being considered, but it is not ruled out that Polish tourists would arrive in Rijeka, all depending on how negotiations between the two sides will go and which railway flows would prove most appropriate.
Croatia is currently connected to four emitting markets by rail, but the establishment of a tourist line with Poland would be a significant step forward because it is a growing and extremely potent emitting market.
Namely, Poland has a population of 38 million, and in the record year of 2019, Poles made 5.8 million overnight stays in Croatia, which surpassed the Czechs, by almost a million overnight stays.
How important Poles are to us was best seen during the pandemic: the Polish market, in the middle of the season, reached 95% of arrivals and overnight stays compared to the year before, which was a phenomenon, and most arrived in the Adriatic by car, although their airline LOT is making great efforts to increase the number of aircraft seats to Croatia.
Looking back a few years, Poles in Croatia have recorded average annual growth rates of arrivals and overnight stays of 8%, and in just ten years from the position of the sixth, they managed to reach our fourth emitting market. They are also interesting because it is a fairly young market, they have one of the more stable European economies, and there are almost four times more of them than the Czechs, which gives hope that the railway-tourist connection would make a lot of sense.