Changes in Tourist Volume in Selected Cultural Heritage Cities in Visegrad Group Countries (V4)


  • Mariola Tracz Polskie Towarzystwo Geograficzne Oddział w Krakowie
  • Małgorzata Bajgier-Kowalska Krakowska Akademia im. A.F. Modrzewskiego



city, heritage culture, heritage tourism, tourism, urban tourism, Visegrad Group countries (V4)


Since the 1990s, Central Europe has become an important tourist region. For many cities in the region, tourism is a key driver of social and economic development. The purpose of the study was to show tourist volumes in selected cities located in Visegrad Group countries (V4). Also analysed was the profile of tourists visiting these cities. The study focused on capitals, i.e. Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, and on cities whose tourism significance continues to increase with every year, i.e. Krakow, Debrecen, Brno, Košice. The above-mentioned goals were accomplished via the use of statistical data. Indicator of tourist intensity was calculated. The research was carried out for two time periods - 2010 and 2018. The calculated indicators of tourist intensity confirmed the significant position of Prague, Budapest and Krakow in the tourist traffic of the V4 countries. All of the studied cities noted an increase in the number of tourists. Yet, the largest increase in the number of tourists by capital city occurred in Bratislava (94%) and Budapest (72%). On the other hand, in cities that are not capitals, the highest dynamics of tourist traffic growth occurred in Debrecen (200%) and Košice (100%). The change in the number of tourists was mostly due to a larger influx of domestic tourists. The main purpose for tourists to come to the studied cities was not only the cultural heritage, but also the tourism offering related to recreation and rest in the city and its surroundings.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Mariola Tracz, Polskie Towarzystwo Geograficzne Oddział w Krakowie

Mariola Tracz, PhD, geographer, geography educator, member of the Polish Geographical Society. Interested in: geographical education (geography curriculum, development of geography competency, geography on examination, history of geography education in Poland), socio-economic geography and tourism (agritourism, cultural tourism).

Małgorzata Bajgier-Kowalska, Krakowska Akademia im. A.F. Modrzewskiego

Małgorzata Bajgier-Kowalska, PhD, assistant professor, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University,
Faculty of Law, Administration and International Relations, Department of International Tourism and Sociological Geography, member of the Polish Geographical Society. Author’s research concentrates on tourism and recreation growth, especially on the development conditions and functioning of tourist regions in the world, including analyses of spatial differentiation of tourist infrastructure and size of tourism itself.


Analýza turistické poptávky města Brna (2017). GfK Raport Brno. Pozyskano z

Annual Analyses of the EU Air Transport Market 2016 (2017). European Commission. Pozyskano z

Annual Report Prague City Tourism. (2018). Pozyskano z:

Ashworth, G., Tunbridge, J. (2000). The tourist-historic city: retrospect and prospect of managing the heritage city. Oxford: Pergamon.

Aubert, A., Jónás-Berki, M., Marton, G., Pálfi, A. (2015). Region specific characters of tourism in East-Central Europe. Acta Geographica Universitatis Comenianae, 59(1), 21–33.

Barbeitos, I.M., Oom do Valle, P., Guerreiro, M., Mendes, J. (2014). Visitors’ Motivations, Satisfaction and Loyalty Towards Castro Marim Medieval Fair. Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, 2(1), 89–104.

Borg van der, J., Costa, P., Gotti, G. (1996). Tourism in European Heritage cities. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2), 306–321.

Borkowski, K. (red.) (2019). Ruch turystyczny w Krakowie w 2018 roku. Monografika, t. 2. Kraków: Małopolska Organizacja Turystyczna.

Bourdeau, L., Gravari-Barbas, M., Robinson, M. (2017). World Heritage Sites and Tourism. Global and Local Relations. London: Routledge.

City Tourism Network. Action Plane 2016/2017 (2016). UNWTO. Pozyskano z

Cozea, F.D. (2013). How the program „Cultural capital of Europe” influence the development of tourism in cities, Analele Universitătii din Oradea – Seria Geografie, 23(1), 99–108.

Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (2017). Pozyskano z–cultural-routes-of-the-council-of-europe.html

De Ascaniis, S., Gravari-Barbas, M., Cantoni, L. (eds.) (2018). Tourism Management at UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lugano: Università della Svizzera Italiana.

Dugulan, D., Balaure, V., Popescu, I. C.,Veghes, C. (2010). Cultural Heritage, natural resources and competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry in Central and Eastern European countries. Annales Universitatis Apulensis, Series Oeconomica 12(2), 742–748.

Dumbrovská, V., Fialová, D. (2014). Tourist Intensity in Capital Cities in Central Europe: Comparative Analysis of Tourism in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Czech Journal of Tourism, 3(1), 5–26.

Dunne, G., Flanaga, S., Buckley, J. (2010). Towards an understanding of international city break travel. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12(5), 409–417.

Edwards, D., Griffin, T., Hayllar, B. (2008). Urban tourism research: developing an agenda. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(4), 1032–1052.

European Cities Benchmarking Report (2017). Pozyskano z–confirms-the-resilience-of-european-cities/

Faracik, R., Blazhevich, I., Lorant, D., Veronika M.K. (2014). Enhancing competitiveness of V4 historic cities to develop tourism: aspects of cultural heritage. Debrecen: DIDAKT Kft.

Henderson, J.C. (2002). Heritage attractions and tourism development in Asia: a comparative study of Hong Kong and Singapore. International Journal of Tourism Research, 4, 337–344.

Hughes, H., Allen, D. (2005). Cultural tourism in Central and Eastern Europe: the views of ‘induced image formation agents’. Tourism Management, 26(2), 173–183.

Hughes, H., Allen, D., Wasik, D. (2003). The significance of European capital of culture for tourism and culture; the case of Krakow 2000. International Journal of Arts Management, 5(3), 12–23.

Ibrahimova, G.H. (2012). Tourism development challenges in Central and Eastern Europe. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Kádár, B. (2013). Differences in the spatial patterns of urban tourism in Vienna and Prague. Urbani Izziv, 24(2), 96–111.

Kowalczyk, A. (2003). Geografia turyzmu. Warszawa: PWN.

Kuttor, D., Suchacek, J., Zsolt, P., Smętkowski, M. (2019). The Situation, Competitiveness and the Development of Tourism: the Visegrad Countries. Miskolc: University of Miskolc Faculty of Economics.

Mika, M. (red.) (2011). Kraków jako ośrodek turystyczny. Kraków: Instytut Geografii i Gospodarki Przestrzennej Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Mikos von Rohrscheidt, A. (2008). Turystyka kulturowa: fenomen, potencjał, perspektywy. Gniezno: Gnieźnieńska Szkoła Wyższa Milenium.

National Tourism Development Strategy 2030. Executive Summary (2017). Hungarian Tourism Agency. Pozyskano z–english.pdf

Pahos, A.M., Stamos, A., Kicose, S. (2010). Cultural tourism in Europe. Journal of Economics, 1(1), 85–92.

Pearce, D.G. (2001). An integrative framework for urban tourism research. Annals of Tourism Research, 28(4), 155–197.

Programové prohlášení Rady hlavního města Prahy pro volební období 2006–2010 (2010). Magistrát hl. m. Prahy.

Richards, G. (1997). Cultural Tourism in Europe. Wallingford: CABI.

Richards, G., Palmer, R. (2010). Eventful Cities: Cultural Management and Urban Revitalisation. Routledge.

Rocznik Statystyczny Krakowa (2019). Kraków: Urząd Statystyczny w Krakowie.

Rocznik Statystyczny Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (2019). Warszawa: Główny Urząd Statystyczny.

Rocznik Statystyczny Warszawy (2019). Warszawa: Urząd Statystyczny w Warszawie.

Šauer, M., Bobkova, M. (2018). Tourist Flows Between Central European Metropolises (In the Context of Metropolisation Processes). Geographia Technica, 13(2), 125–137.

Šebová, M., Džupka, P., Hudec, O., Urbančíková, N. (2014). Promoting and financing cultural tourism in Europe through European capitals of culture: A case study of Košice, European capital of culture 2013. Economic Interferences, 16(36), 655–668.

Smith, M., Puczkó, L. (2009). Health and wellness tourism. Oxford: Elsevier.

Statistical Yearbook of Hungary (2018). Budapest: Hungarian Central Statistical Office.

Statistical Yearbook of Prague (2019). Prague: Czech Statistical Office.

Statistical Yearbook of the Czech Republic (2019). Prague: Czech Statistical Office.

Statistical Yearbook of the Slovak Republic (2019). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.

Strategia rozwoju turystyki w Krakowie na lata 2014–2020 (2014). Kraków: Urząd Miasta Krakowa. Pozyskano z

Süli-Zakar, I., Kecskés, T. (2015). The historical borders and the cross-border connections’ effect on Debrecen’s spirituality and cultural economy. Eurolimes, 19, 99–116.

Sulyok, J. (2005). Kulturális Turizmus az európai városokban (Cultural tourism in European cites). Turizmus Bulletin, 3, 18–29.

Tracz, M., Bajgier-Kowalska, M. (2019). Profile of tourists visiting cultural heritage cities: Comparative study of selected cities in Central Europe. Geographica Polonica, 92(4), 455–468.

Tracz, M., Bajgier-Kowalska, M., Wójtowicz, B. (2019). Przemiany w sferze usług turystycznych Krakowa i ich wpływ na percepcję turystyki przez mieszkańców. Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego, 33(1), 164–177.

Tracz, M., Semczuk, (2018). Wpływ turystyki na zmianę funkcji przestrzeni miejskiej na przykładzie Krakowa. Biuletyn Komitetu Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania Kraju Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 272, 272–284.

Trew, J., Cockerell, N. (2002). The European Market for UK City Breaks. Insights, 14, 58, 85–111.

Turystyka w Warszawie. Raport 2017 (2018). Warszawa: Stołeczne Biuro Turystyki.

UNWTO International Tourism Highlights, 2019 Edition (2019). Madrid. Pozyskano z

UNWTO-ETC (2005). City Tourism & Culture, The European Experience. A Report of the Research Group of the European Travel Commission and of the World Tourism Organization. Spain: WTO.

Vasvári, M., Martonné, K., Molná, E.R. (2013). Developments Related to Tourism and Their Effects in Debrecen Following the Turn of the Millennium (Northern Great Plain Region, Hungary) Success Or Failure? Turizam, 17(2), 71–83.

Widawski, K., Wyszkowski, J. (eds.) (2012). Geography of Tourism of Central and Eastern Europe. Wroclaw: University of Wroclaw.

Więckowski, M., Saarinen, J. (2019). Tourism transitions, changes, and the creation of new spaces and places in Central-Eastern Europe. Geographia Polonica, 92(4), 369–377.

Żemła, M., Ziółkowska-Weiss, K. (2017). Turystyka między krajami grupy Wyszehradzkiej. Wybrane problemy i perspektywy na przyszłość. Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego we Wrocławiu, 473, 637–647.



How to Cite

Tracz, M. ., & Bajgier-Kowalska, M. . (2020). Changes in Tourist Volume in Selected Cultural Heritage Cities in Visegrad Group Countries (V4). Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 34(3), 67–83.

Most read articles by the same author(s)