PIT has chosen the authorities of the Division of Child and Youth Tourism
The meeting was chaired by PIT President Paweł Niewiadomski. OTDiM was headed by Barbara Czerwińska – Albin (BT Czerwiński Travel) taking the position of President. In addition to her, the board included three vice presidents: Krzysztof Mazinski (BUT Sp. Z o.o. Sp. k.), Jakub Rutkiewicz (“Tax” S.C. Jakub Rutkiewicz, Marta Rutkiewicz) and Piotr Wiktorko (Polan Travel).
“Establishment of OTDiM is a response to industry needs. Among the numerous organizations operating in the market, there is not one that would effectively represent businesses dealing with children and youth tourism. At present, tourism is facing the biggest crisis in recent years, which is why it is so important to strengthen the activity of PIT in all its areas” – said the new president.
Despite the fact that, according to the WHO, the end of the coronavirus pandemic on the European continent is probable, today tourism is again facing more problems,” Czerwińska continues. – Organizers of children’s tourism have to face galloping inflation, increased costs of doing business and huge increases in fuel prices. Many contracts for the implementation of school trips, or camps, were signed last year, in which prices were dramatically lower. Today, the implementation of these trips for most organizers will be unprofitable”.
Another problem is the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Disregarding its own troubles, which the pandemic has thrown into, the tourism industry has not only risen to the occasion and actively supported the refugees, but also offered its help by organizing food collections, providing transport for the war refugees or giving them accommodation in its hotels and guesthouses, very often financing such activities from its own funds.
The result of the current situation is the lack of vacancies in low-budget accommodation facilities on the basis of which school trips are carried out. Let me remind you that the season of spring school trips has just started. Disturbing information comes in that the organizers cannot realize school trips because the hotels canceled reservations due to providing places for refugees to whom they offered shelter. Many of the organizers are afraid of a similar situation in the holiday season, when they will be organized camps.
OTDiM has the following goals:
- Responding to current problems of children tourism entities,
- integration of the industry, enabling the exchange of information and experiences between entrepreneurs,
- Cooperation with the Ministry of National Education on the project “Get to know Poland” and other future projects,
- building the image of a travel agency as a reliable, trustworthy partner in the implementation of school trips and recreation for children,
- Lobbying for maintaining the Tourist Voucher project.
OTDiM is the second, after the Inbound Tourism Branch, branch office of the Polish Chamber of Tourism. In the near future, a Department of Outbound Tourism will be established, bringing together both agents and tour operators.