Polish Guide & Polish Pass: Innovative Fan and Tourist Service at Euro 2012- Marcin Herra

December 8, 2011

On December 2, during the group draw for Euro 2012 tournament, we found out which fixtures, will be played on what dates and in which cities during Euro 2012 in Poland. From now on, not only will football fans and tourists from all over Europe begin to develop interest in our country, but they will also embark on planning their stay in Poland during Euro 2012. They will be looking for information on public transport, host cities, accommodation, health services, food and catering, football stadiums, or tourist attractions. How can we provide them with information of this type in a professional and comprehensive manner and in a user-friendly form? How, starting today, can we invite foreign tourists and fans to Poland and convince them that this edition of Euro Cup will be exceptional and they will encounter the highest standards of service in Poland?

In the course of Poland’s nearly four years of preparations for Euro 2012, these questions have surfaced many times. The Ministry of Sport and Tourism’s SPV under the name of PL.2012, coordinating our country’s preparations for the tournament, co-operates with organisers of other large sporting events and takes advantage of their earlier experience and observations. The most important conclusion to be drawn from this co-operation is the enormous significance of the quality of services for tourists and fans for the success of the event and the image of the host country. Foreign tourists abroad firstly seek precise information on local public transport and intercity connections, accommodation, the organisation of the city life during the event, health care, tourist attractions, and navigating their way to stadiums, fan zones, or the city centre. Is it possible to collect all the above-mentioned information in one place, in an easy-to-use and convenient form, for example in the Internet? Can this be additionally combined with interactive maps of Poland and of the Tournament Host Cities displaying all the sites and attractions crucial from a foreign tourist’s point of view? It seems that it is.

For the first time in the European Football Championship, tourists and fans will be furnished with a free-of-charge tool providing comprehensive information on the host country, available not only via the Internet, but also via mobile and smart phones. Moreover, visitors in Poland during Euro 2012 will also be provided with a solution so far unheard of – a single-document combining a public transport pass between the Host Cities, a plane ticket for domestic and international flights, health insurance, and a hotel booking confirmation. The Polish Guide and Polish Pass, since they are at issue here, are available as of 5 December 2011. These products, as early as six months before Euro 2012, will allow for inviting foreign tourists and fans to Poland, providing them with high quality customer service and distinguishing our country against the background of the previous organisers of the European Football Championships.

Meet Poland – Welcome to Euro 2012!

How to get to Poland? What bus lines to take to get to the Palace of Culture and Sciences in Warsaw, and which ones to take to get to the National Stadium? What attractions to expect in the fan zone? Where is the National Museum and how to get there? How to reach Gdansk’s Old Town from the airport? What is worth seeing in Poznan? Each tourist and fan will be able to find answers in the Polish Guide to such questions and to a thousand more related to Polish Host Cities and not only.

This product, unheard-of in the previous history of the European Football Championships, comes as an information service available free of charge to all fans and tourists while planning a trip to Poland as well as during their stay in our country in the course of Euro 2012. The service is presently available via www.polishguide2012.pl net service. Right before the Tournament, access via mobile and smart phones, an extremely useful and convenient solution for foreigners travelling around Poland, will also be launched.

The Polish Guide Service information is provided in several most popular languages: English, German, French, Spanish, and Russian. Thanks to the service, a fan is furnished with a wide array of information regarding fan zones, stadiums, and base camps, public transport as well as air, rail and road transport, health care and safety, fan embassies and volunteer activities, accommodation, and all practical information about Poland and Polish Host Cities, regional customs, interesting tidbits, and cuisine as well as recommended attractions and events.

The service has been adapted to the needs of both a diehard fan and a tourist planning on coming to Poland during Euro 2012 not only to watch the games of their national football teams, but also with sightseeing in mind. A concept of a well-thought over website and mobile applications will make finding the most essential information possible for visitors.

The Polish Guide comes not only as a technologically advanced e-guide to Poland. In 2012, we will launch a functionality of a personalised e-calendar. Each user will be able to create their own itinerary covering the most interesting events and the most interesting places they intend to visit in Poland.
Polish Guide project has been originated and implemented by PL.2012.

Polish Pass, passport, and Poland – Here We Come
The Polish Pass is an integral element of the Polish Guide. They are mutually complementary products and they will be decisive for the high quality of fan and tourist services in Poland. Before coming to Poland, every foreign tourist, apart from finding information on our country, will also ask several of the following questions: How am I going to move around? Where will I sleep? Will I have a health insurance? The answers to these questions will be, to a large extent, decisive for visiting Poland during the Championships. This is why since the end of 2009, PL.2012 has been engaged in works on the preparation of a special tourist offer – Polish Pass. This product combines 3 elements: transport – city, domestic, and international, hotel bookings, and health insurance. The Polish Pass can already be purchased via the distribution portals and at the Polish Guide web service (www.polishguide2012.pl).

Purchasing the Polish Pass, tourists or football fans arriving in Poland for Euro 2012 will be able to book and buy accommodation and pay for the public transport pass for the Host Cities. And in the event their plans include moving around the country, they will be able to pay for the possibility of using the railways in Poland or to purchase a plane ticket valid for both domestic and international flights. Thanks to the Polish Pass, the Tournament guests will also be able to purchase special health insurance for the duration of their stay in our country. The product will also make booking hotel accommodation possible. In fact, in case of taking advantage of all the listed elements, tourists or fans will be able to get by using, next to their passports, only the Polish pass.

The complexity of the product can be decided by tourists and fans themselves, they will also be able to create it themselves, adjusting the offer to their own needs. They will be able to choose only one of the elements available within the Polish Pass, for example a public transport pass, or several of them. Upon configuring the personalised Polish Pass product, it is enough to print it. This way, a football fan or a tourist gains one more document – printed still back at home, long before arriving in our country – which together with the passport suffices to freely use public transport and health care in Poland and covers hotel bookings.

The public transport pass included within the Polish Pass combines the majority of public transport opportunities available in a given city. For example, in Warsaw they include trams, busses, metro, and even suburban railways. In Gdansk, the pass covers buses, trams, and railway within the Tri City limits. The price of the public transport pass is the same in each of the Host Cities of the UEFA EURO 2012™ and is PLN 12 per day (about 3 euro).

The Polish Pass offers the possibility of purchasing railway tickets authorising not only to travel between the Host Cities, but also all over Poland. Two variants have been prepared: for people requiring a high standard of travel and for those with low price preferences. The tickets are available in 3-, 7-, and 27-day variants. A 3-day ticket in the lowest price variant is PLN 104 (about 25 euro) while in the more expensive option the price is PLN 289 (about 70 euro).
The Polish Pass makes it also possible for a visitor to Poland to purchase health insurance. A one-day policy price is PLN 4.30 (about 1 euro).

Finally, the Polish Pass also enables users to make hotel bookings. The 4 Host Cities during Euro 2012 will offer a total of 400 thousand beds. The Polish Pass booking system will initially grant access to 150 thousand beds while the base will be successively extended until the kickoff of the Championships.
The Polish Pass project, combining offers of partners from the hotel, transport, and insurance sectors, has been originated by PL.2012 who also acts as the product implementation coordinator. The services included within the product will be available for use in June and at the beginning of July 2012.

Marcin Herra, The President of The Board, PL.2012

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