Football fans would return to Poland, claims survey
Following Spain’s incredible triumph over Italy in the final at Euro 2012, attention has switched swiftly to the forthcoming London 2012 games and the 2012/13 Premier League campaign - but we shouldn’t forget what magnificent hosts Poland and the Ukraine were.
In the lead up to the European Championships, there was heavy scepticism surrounding the threat of racism potentially marring the tournament but failing a few isolated misdemeanours, the co-hosts came out of the three-week competition with their reputations firmly intact.
In a survey by the Polish National Tourist Office, 74.1% of respondents living in Great Britain rated their stay in Poland particularly as good or excellent.
Fellow Western European nations Germany and France also had good things to say with 61.30% and 72.30% representing their responses respectively.
Initially and particularly prompted by a BBC Panorama airing, the families of England stars Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opted to stay away from the tournament based on the threat of racist ideologies believed to be widespread in the Polish and Ukrainian cityscapes.
However, whilst it would be naïve to surmise this doesn’t go on with a few mindless minorities still conducting racist practices in some form, thankfully the overwhelming sense was that Poland and the Ukraine were warm, friendly and courteous in welcoming their overseas and cross-border guests.
The much-coveted FanZones which housed dozens of fans unable to get a match ticket, proved popular once more as more than 3,541,000 people enjoyed themselves in either these or indeed the stadia during the entire number of matches played within Poland.
Fresh contemporary image
These successes helped contribute to the completely new contemporary image of the country which was hosting the greatest ever brand-building campaign ever deployed within its borders.
The overriding notion in Britain was that Poland once viewed as war-torn and unglamorous was replaced with fresh attitudes of optimism with 52.50% of people viewing the country positively, ultimately resulting in likely tourism increases with football fandom taking place more readily.
Poland can also revel in some personal pride that overseas supporters voted Euro 2012 to be better than the previous championships co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland in 2008. Organisation was successfully measured at 85% compared to 68% in Austria and Switzerland.
UEFA will be particularly pleased by these figures, with the organisation committed to improving their international tournaments year-on-year.
Perhaps the most impressive figure for Poland itself is the €1,044,880,087 that has been projected to increase the country’s revenue from tourism as a direct result of the tournament being hosted there.
With this being the case, it is indisputable why many countries clamber with their long-winded bidding campaigns to bring prosperity and a feel-good factor to a nation at large.
France will be the latest to receive this treatment as our cross-channel neighbours have won the right to host the next European Championships, in 2016, whereby UEFA have proposed the tournament will be expanded to incorporate 24 competing nations.
If you would like any further information from the Polish National Tourist Office, you can find out more by clicking here.