Greater Poland Tourism Organization, Poland

Find new strategies to promote the Piast Trail as a symbol to showcase and spread the authentic historical objects related to the beginnings of Poland and the Christian religion on its territory through inclusive strategies.

Region: Greater Poland

  • THE CRADLE OF POLAND
  • GREAT HISTORY
  • GREAT ADVENTURE

Type of organisation leading the larger local innovation ecosystem

Public authority

The Regional DMO clusters local governments, organisations, hotels, tour operators, universities and other partners. Its main focuses are supporting tourism development and promoting the region as an attractive tourist destination. The Regional DMO is a key partner in developing the region’s core cultural tourism product: the Piast Trail.

Main challenges related to cultural tourism

Greater Poland is the birthplace of Polish statehood, filled with monuments from the early middle ages and places crucial for Polish history – connected with The Piast Trail, the oldest culture tourism trail in Poland. Yet, despite its significance, the trail is often perceived as suitable mostly for school trips. The key is to redefine it, bring new means of communication and storytelling and implement innovative strategies to build the tourist offer. Finally, it is essential to promote networking and cooperation between different entities in order to create a complex and complementary tourist product.

For Greater Poland, being part of the Be.CULTOUR Community means building a network of knowledge, sharing ideas, and seeking inspiration from Europewide to boost tourism locally.
Photo by Jacek Cieślewicz

Current strategic planning

Since 2016 the Piast Trail has been managed by the Piast Trail Tourism Cluster, established by a group of local governments, with the partnership of the Greater Poland Tourism Organisation. Together we implement the vision of a coherent tourist product, shape promotion and brand management. There is an ongoing project to develop a common communication strategy, however, there is no master plan for the trail yet. The main objective is to make the Piast Trail the best recognised cultural tourism trail in Poland, establish direct links between the heritage and local economy and make that heritage comprehensible for European tourists.

Ideas and future perspectives

The main focus is to strengthen cooperation and bonds between all the stakeholders involved in the trail activities, promote a synergy effect and – based on the knowledge acquired by participating in Be.CULTOUR – to reshape its image, introduce innovative storytelling solutions and new tourist offers based on cultural heritage. It is crucial to make the trail an important element of local identity and be inclusive towards the local population and business by encouraging their involvement in the tourism economy.

Cultural heritage asset description

The Piast Trail

The Piast Trail is the cultural heritage of the region. It is one of the most visited and best-known tourist routes in Poland. The trail's idea and message are to present and make available authentic historical objects related to the beginnings of Poland and the Christian religion on its territory. The Piast Trail intersects with other international and national tourist and cultural trails (the Way of St. James, the Romanesque Trail) and those with a regional range (the Trail of Wooden Churches around Zielonka Forest).

The trail is the main axis of tourism in the Greater Poland region and is supported by mobile applications, maps, routes for various modes of transport. It has a great potential to attract a large group of tourists.

Type of cultural heritage

  • ARCHAEOLOGICAL
  • RELIGIOUS

Specific goal related to the selected asset

The biggest challenge is to encourage the tourist facilities located on the Piast Trail to network, cooperate and willingness to identify more closely with the brand of the trail. The aim is to increase brand recognition of the trail in Poland and abroad.

Europeanisation: linkages between local heritage and European history and culture

The Piast dynasty created the Polish state and its first rulers adopted Christianity, and then they were crowned with the approval of the German emperor and the pope. The idea behind the meeting of the German emperor in 1000 with the ruler of Poland was the seed of a thought about a united Europe. The preserved monuments constituting the core of the Piast Trail are the oldest historical sites in Poland and are part of the cultural heritage of the whole of Europe.

Photo by Karol Budzinsi

European and international Cultural Heritage recognition(s)

The Address of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops, which is related to the history of the Piast Trail and Lech Hill with Gniezno Cathedral, are Polish candidates for the European Heritage Label 2021.

Ongoing projects and best practices

  • Common branding and communication for multiple entities, working together on the Piast Trail. An example of clustering in practice with decentralised organisation of a tourist product 
  • Adding new assets to the trail by supporting storytelling through augmented reality mobile app, interactive quests and events 
  • Development of basic infrastructure, crucial for the identity of the trail, including road signs, information boards, and outdoor maps. 
  • Supporting accessible tourism: accessibility audits, training and courses focused on accessible tourism, three-dimensional tactile models for blind tourists
Photo by Łukasz Zandecki

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