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Poland keen to attract Arab visitors seeking medical care — officials

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 11,2017 - Last updated at Jun 11,2017

WARSAW — Poland is keen to attract visitors seeking medical treatment from the Arab world and is looking forward to increased cooperation with partners in Jordan and the Middle East, according to Polish officials and private sector representatives.

In 2016, Poland attracted 16 million tourists, including hundreds of thousands who visited the central European country for medical treatment at the wide range of medical spas and treatment centres there. 

The country is currently working on a plan to increase the number of those coming for medical treatment, Polish officials at the Polish Tourist Organisation said during a recent visit that included Warsaw, Kraków and other Polish cities.

Over the past 15 years, Poland attracted over 220 million tourists, of whom many came for medical treatments, according to the organisation.

“Poland is home to many medical treatment spas and  health resorts including a famous treatment spa located more than 130 metres underground in a salt mine,” an official at the organisation said during the recent familiarisation trip to Poland.

Recently, Jordan and the Arab world have become markets that Poland aims to attract more visitors from.

“We believe that the potential is huge for attracting individuals from Jordan and the Arab world for medical treatment,” Mariusz Szmit, Member of the Board Sales and Marketing at the Uzdrowisko Konstancin-Zdrój Group, said at a workshop during the visit.

“We are looking forward to building partnerships in this regard and for increased collaboration…At our medical treatment spas and centres that are distributed across Poland, we have high quality equipment and treatment methods,” Szmit said, stressing on the importance of exchanging information and raising awareness in this regard.

Agata Mezynska, chief specialist at the Economic Information Department affiliated to the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, said Poland has attracted major investments in the field of medical tourism and is “taking pride” in attracting visitors from many countries in Europe.

Poland, the 6th largest country in the EU in terms of economy, population and area, is the largest recipient of EU funds, with around 100 million euros to be received between 2014 and 2020.

“We have attracted several investments in various sectors including medical treatment facilities and centres,” she said, adding that, by the end of 2015, the overall number of foreign direct investments in Poland reached 167 billion euros.

On Jordanian-Polish trade relations, the official said there is a room for increased collaboration.

“One of the sectors that both countries can work on to increase trade exchange is the cosmetics sector, as Jordanian industries are very popular in this regard. 

However, more promotion and engagement in exhibitions and business activities are needed from the Jordanian side,” the Polish official said.

Stressing that cooperation between the chambers of commerce between the two countries is vital to boost ties, Piotr Klodkowski, director of institute of research on civilisation at the University of Information Technology and Management, said the political relations between the two countries are excellent.

“Jordan and Poland enjoy great relations in various fields. I believe there is a potential to do more, especially when it comes to trade exchange,” he said during the visit.

 

Klodkowski added that cooperation in the field of academy and research exchange is another area where the two countries can boost coordination. 

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