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«COOPERATION SHRINES OF EUROPE IN REGIONAL MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Stefko R., Nowak S. Abstract: Religious tourism is a specific type of ...»

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Stefko R., Nowak S. Vol.10 No2



Stefko R., Nowak S.

Abstract: Religious tourism is a specific type of tourism, which in many areas has great

potential for development. Unfortunately, only a few units of local government effectively utilize this potential. Currently, it is noticeable that the centers of Marian Worship far less popularity beginning to see the potential for development of the region by increasing the number of pilgrims. Establish cooperation between smaller centers is to contribute to the development of pilgrimage tourism through the creation of a joint tourist product. The combination of attractions and joint promotion of the region can contribute to increased interest from tourists pilgrims. The development of this form of tourism can be an impulse for economic recovery and development of the necessary tourism infrastructure in the region.

Key words: regional development, infrastructure, tourism, pilgrimage tourism Introduction Nowadays, it becomes very important to the tourism sector in advance recognize and identify upcoming changes and adapt to these changes, their products or services. Upcoming changes shaping the future of the tourism sector, not only the effect of current actions taken by the sector, but are derived from a variety of areas, which are inherent in human life - health, education, information technology, transport, sustainable development, security or life style (Dima and Klimasiński, 2012; Bosun and Modrak, 2014).

Local government units, through appropriate management, have a huge impact on local and regional development. Formulating development strategies and controlling infrastructure investments affect the shape and profile of the tourism municipality and region. Tourism of the region is mainly a regional tourism product. In its creation involves the local authority, the people of the region, tourism organizations and tourists (Ulfik, 2013).

Tourism centered on pilgrimages to religious sites, the target groups being individuals, family, youth seniors, etc., promotes the spiritual, cultural and educational growth of those who partake of it. But, more importantly, this trade in tourism promotes the regional economy in terms of tourism thereby promoting the growth of the whole country (Štefko et al., 2013).

Elaboration of pilgrims, who for most of the year will yield enough revenue arising to hotels is a very long process. Emerging hotels in pilgrimage cities are forced to seek other sources of funding. Opportunity for the development of the region can  Prof. Robert Stefko, University of Presov in Presov, Slovakia, PhD. Eng. Stefan Nowak, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education i

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be tourism business - a conference. According to the research Cieślikowski share of expenditure on accommodation in the total expenditure amounts to 46.3%. They see a rapidly growing network of hotels in big cities in Poland and in the world.

Occurrence in the area of additional interest in the case of the region of worship a special place, it can be an additional attraction. It should also be noted that in houses of worship there is also a lot of historical sites and other interesting tourist attractions. Periods of increased traffic of pilgrims attributable mainly to the holiday months can well complement periods of business meetings conferences which are the months of spring and autumn (Cieślikowski, 2010). Providing greater occupancy in hotels may induce persons responsible for the development of large hotel network to make investment decisions. Increasing hotel base in areas with religious sites will generate additional revenue for local governments by increasing the length of the stay of the pilgrims. The extent to which any city or country may be successfully branded, positioned and promoted as an events destination depends largely on the availability of a wide range of resources within the destination itself.

These may include infrastructural, natural and cultural resources. However, increasingly, attention is focusing on human resources as a critical success factor in the events industry in general and the business events sector (Celuch and Davidson, 2009).

Should also not be forget about the dangers posed by the development of tourism.

example can be even transportation. Transport is one of the largest sources of environmental pollution in Europe. The large number of significant environmental impacts associated with transportation range from local through to global (Kot and Ślusarczyk, 2012; Beškovnik and Jakomin, 2010).

The role of Czestochowa Tourist Organization in the development of tourism in the region Active involvement of local tourist organizations are an important contribution to the sustainable development of tourism in the area. Local Tourist Organizations are a platform for cooperation between enterprises of the tourism sector, industry organizations and local government units. Their activity directly affects the dynamics of the development of local tourism through the creation and implementation of business strategy. In Czestochowa since 2004 working Czestochowa Tourism Organization. It was set up in order to create an attractive image of the city of Czestochowa and the region in Poland and abroad, which would favor increasing the number of tourists and pilgrims visiting the region, and consequently affected the increase in income from tourism and pilgrimage (Smith 2013).

Czestochowa Tourist Organization stands out against other local tourism organizations. It is one of the largest organizations of its kind in Poland. It should be emphasized that the budget of Czestochowa Tourist Organization in the past 5 years was at the level of the first 5% of this type of organization in Poland. It is important that people working in the local tourism organizations were well


Stefko R., Nowak S. Vol.10 No2 prepared participants to perform their duties, should be specialists in the field of people management and be creative and open (Wszendybył–Skulska, 2011).

Figure 1. Structure of revenues of Czestochowa Tourist Organization Graduate management should also have the full understanding of trade’s structure and strategy, know how to determine the issue of efficient customer service, use the methods and techniques in management processes of quality and how to design the activity and manage it (Grabara, 2013).

Employment of people highly qualified causes the Czestochowa Tourist Organization performs a series of events by actively promoting the city both in the region and in the world (Nowak, 2013).

Cooperation of Czestochowa with other sanctuaries in Europe Czestochowa as the city of cult of Mary, is involved in many projects of an international nature. The projects are an example of cooperation between the major cities sanctuaries in Europe. This cooperation results in the flow of knowledge between the major centers of Marian devotion.

Czestochowa started an official cooperation with leading centers the cult of Mary referring bilateral cooperation in the framework of twinning with such centers as Loreto – 1987, Lourdes – 1990 and Fatima – 1997.

The largest of the projects must show „Shrines of Europe”. This is an Agreement Sanctuaries Cities of Europe „Shrines of Europe” which include: Czestochowa (Poland), Altötting (Germany), Lourdes (France), Loreto (Italy) and Fatima (Portugal). The cooperation started with the signing of a letter of intent in 1996 and the signing of cooperation agreements and the creation of associations of cities in

2003. The most important projects of the association may include joint promotion of the largest international tourism fair (Berlin, Verona, Lisbon and Warsaw). City of associates “Shrines of Europe” have a common website, issued jointly folders


Vol.10 No2 Stefko R., Nowak S.

and albums. As part of the “Shrines of Europe” also implemented several projects as youth co–operation under the name of „Let's Build Europe”, conducted in 1999– 2003, with co–financing of the European program „Youth” project consisted of

exchanges of youth groups in subsequent years:

 1999 Lourdes: „European awareness and information for young people”,  2000 Altoetting: „Protecting the environment, arts and culture”,  2001 Częstochowa: „Health and various forms of social exclusion”,  2002 Fatima: „The development of towns and villages, and the problem of racism and xenophobia”,  2003 Loreto: „Leisure, youth and value”.

Another important cooperation project was completed project COESIMA. The budget of the project amounted to 1,666,500.00 Euros. The aim of COESIMA was to create a permanent network of cities, which face similar problems of pilgrim tourism. COESIMA was a project involving cities such as: Altoetting, Czestochowa, Fatima, Loreto, Lourdes, Patmos and Santiago de Compostela, which retained the functions of pilgrimage and take each year more than 20 million visitors from 150 countries.

The project held various workshops, conferences and specialist tests were conducted and the analysis of pilgrims in the cities participating in the project.

Realized the project had to give answers to four key areas:

 Analysis of the frequency of attendance in order to better identify the expectations of visitors,  The adaptation of infrastructure,  Valorisation of cultural heritage,  Provide a common international promotion centers.

The project COESIMA performed research and analysis, the most important of Czestochowa is „The study and analysis of traffic tourist and pilgrimage to Czestochowa”. The study allowed the updating of data and knowledge segmentation of tourist traffic, verify the needs and expectations of pilgrims and tourists as well as to examine the satisfaction and frequency of arrivals of visitors.

In addition, Czestochowa realized expertise:

 Assumptions for tourist promotion strategy of Czestochowa,  Development of Czestochowa as Pilgrimage–Tourist Centre in the context of the functioning of the International Airport Katowice – Pyrzowicach – the nearest airport that could handle the pilgrimage movement,  Report of survey „Opinions of the residents of Czestochowa on the development and promotion of the city as a tourist center”.

Currently Czestochowa and in her behalf Czestochowa Tourist Organization engaged along with the city Ourém (Fatima) project to develop tourism education.

The project involves the exchange of knowledge, information and joint promotion of both cities. In particular, the project concerns the training of human resources which is crucial for the development of tourism. The project will contribute to


Stefko R., Nowak S. Vol.10 No2 improving the quality of services of personnel working in the tourism sector and to improve the reception of incoming traffic to both cities.

The main objectives of the project are:

 Strengthening cooperation between schools and businesses,  Exchange of good practices in the field of tourism education,  Exchange of views of professionals and students enrolled in the operation of tourist traffic on the role and importance of the tourism business for the promotion of cities – the project partners,  Improving the image of cities – project partners – in the eyes of pilgrims and tourists visiting the city,  Improving the quality of service the hotel guests by young students,  Creation of a report on „The role of professionals in the field of tourism for the promotion of cities on the example of Czestochowa and Ourém”,  Increasing the educational, economic and social cooperation between the partner cities,  Appropriate adjustment of curricula in the field of tourism education.

The development of trails Marian – working with smaller centers Religious tourism is a specific type of tourism, which in many areas has great potential for development. In addition to cooperation largest centers of worship, an important element in the development of smaller pilgrimage centers is to promote cooperation and smaller shrines among tourists pilgrims. It is estimated that in Europe there are about 2,500 places of religious worship, which are visited by pilgrims. Centers for far less popularity beginning to see the potential for development of the region by increasing the pilgrimage movement. Establish cooperation between different centers will contribute to the development of pilgrimage tourism. An example can be implemented research project management department at the University of Presov in collaboration with the Faculty of Management at the Technical University of Czestochowa – Grant APVV SK–PL– 0061–12 for research on the current situation and possibilities of marketing communications major cultural attractions, religious and pilgrimage sites in Slovakia and in particular in Presov region. This shows the interest in the development of this form of tourism and hence the development of the necessary infrastructure.

High growth potential are places of pilgrimage located in Slovakia. This is due to the fact that during the communist regime sought to marginalize pilgrimages and other manifestations of religiosity (Štefko, Jenčová, Litavcová, 2013). In both Poland and Slovakia during the bygone era lacked political support for the development of tourism infrastructure in support of the pilgrimage movement.

Negligence led to partial oblivion shrines in this part of Europe. This creates the potential for the development of pilgrimage tourism in the areas of both Polish and Slovak. Turning to worship centers in the promotion of many smaller places of

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worship could lead to a specific tourism product. Building groups of units – Marian routes – which tour will be an attractive form of tourism – pilgrimage contribute to the development of tourism infrastructure and positive impact on the local economy.

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