We are happy to announce that the 1st International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages "Following the Footsteps of the Saint Pope John Paul II" will take place in Krakow, from 8th to 12th November 2017. Please feel invited, by prof. Jacek Majchrowski, the President of Krakow. The City of Krakow is the official partner of the Congress. Also His Em. Card. Stanislaw Dziwisz confirmed his presence. Jacek Krupa - Marshal of the Małopolska Region, Marek Olszewski - President of the Polish Tourist Organization and Mons. Marek Jedraszewski Archbishop of Krakow have assumped the honorary patronage over the Congress.
Krakow and Malopolska Region have a great potential as a religious tourism and pilgrimage destination. Every year they are visited by millions of pilgrims and religious tourists, just let us mention the last World Youth Day which took place here in Krakow in 2016. These numbers are reflected in city’s and country’s profits and also new work places.
"We think there is a space and need to organize a new event in Krakow: a branch meeting of specialists from the religious tourism and pilgrimages market" - says Ernest Miroslaw, the organizer of the Congress, the owner of a local incoming tour operator Ernesto Travel which is a leader in religious tourism. "Currently no such event is organized in Central- and Eastern Europe. I think it can be a perfect preparative before the 2018 UNWTO conference which will also be held in Krakow and will be dedicated to the religious tourism. We have participated in many similar congresses and conferences; this time we hope to welcome here in Krakow and Malopolska Region several hundred persons from the branch: specialists, touroperators, tour agents, priests and others operating in the religious tourism and pilgrimage market" - says Dominika from Ernesto Travel, the initiator of the Congress.
The Congress will be opened on the 9th November, by the both secular and clerical authorities of Krakow. An opening Holy Mass will be celebrated at the John Paul II Centre, followed by speeches, lectures and a workshop with the representatives of the local sanctuaries and tourist attractions. 10th and 11th November will be a chance for the guests from around the world to visit Krakow and Malopolska Region (Krakow Old Town, John Paul II Center, Divine Mercy Sanctuary, Salt Mine in Wieliczka, former German Nazi Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the church and museum of Wadowice - Karol Wojtyla’s birthplace, the Basilic in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and of course the Black Madonna Sanctuary in Czestochowa).
The Congress aims to be a meeting place between the tour operators and the local providers as well as to promote Krakow and Malopolska Region as an important religious tourism and pilgrimage destination not only in Europe, but also worldwide, finally to strengthen the importance of religious tourism within the tourism market.
The organizers welcome foreign tour agents and touroperatos, bloggers and journalists, bishops and priests as well as other religious tourism and pilgrimage organizers such as diocesan coordinators or the leaders of foundations and congregations.
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