Pilgrimage and cultural tourism in France promoted among Polish travel agencies
Tourism after a long period of uncertainty is slowly trying to return to normal functioning. Another opportunity to meet and talk with Polish tour operators and travel agencies and to exchange experiences was a workshop organized by the Association of Shrine Cities in France.
“This is our first workshop after the pandemic. The last event in Warsaw took place in 2019. The association has been trying to be present in Poland for several years, but unfortunately the pandemic has changed everything. Therefore, it is important for us to renew contacts with Polish travel agencies in the hope that tourist traffic, including pilgrimage, will return to normalcy,” says Piotr Rak, a representative of the Association of Shrine Towns in France.
Cooperation between tourism and church institutions
The association aims to jointly welcome tourists and pilgrims who come to popular cities and shrines. In order to effectively know the expectations of both tourists and pilgrims, tourism and church institutions have launched joint activities. The association’s network already covers the whole of France. Among the 20 destinations for religious and cultural tourism are places of special historical and heritage interest, including UNESCO World Heritage sites. They are mostly located on important pilgrimage routes such as. Jacob’s Roads, famous centers of Marian devotion or associated with the lives and activities of saints.
The Association of Shrine Towns in France is trying to respond to the needs of Polish tour operators and assist in the development of the offer, as well as the preparation of trips, through direct contact with individual tourist offices.
The popularity of pilgrimage tourism
“Pilgrimage tourism is popular in our country. One of the association’s goals is to promote not only pilgrimage tourism in the strict sense, but also to open up to other attractions such as. for sanctuary cities. In a given city, where there is a shrine, there is usually a monument nearby. Thanks to this, you can simultaneously practice other forms of tourism, so it is like entering a given city from the religious side,” adds Piotr Rak. – adds Piotr Rak.
The association currently has twenty centers, including, among others, the Sanctuary of the Families, the Sanctuary of the Holy Family and St. Joseph, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna and St. Francis of Assisi. Amadoura or the Sanctuary of St. Anthony. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus.