More than half a million tourists visited the Wieliczka Mine
The Wieliczka mine ended the last year with a record number of 1.7 million visitors. Will 2018 be better? The results for the first five months of the year show that this will indeed be the case. By the end of May, the historic underground was visited by 598,500 tourists, which is 46,600 more than in the corresponding period of 2017.
From January to May, a total of 346,600 foreign tourists travelled along the Tourist Route and Miners’ Route, alongside 251,900 Poles. Compared to the previous year, the number of foreign visitors increased by 58,800.
“We recorded an 8% increase in the number of visitors,” said Damian Konieczny, President of the Management Board of the Kopalnia Soli “Wieliczka” Trasa Turystyczna company. “Almost 600 thousand tourists from January to May – this result is definitely encouraging and seeing it makes us happy. Summer and holidays are ahead, so it is expected that the upward trend will continue. We are well-prepared for the season: we have improved our booking system, as well as organisation and management of tourist traffic,” he emphasised.
Traditionally, British tourists constituted the largest group of foreign visitors on the salt trails. Since the beginning of the year, 42,000 of them visited the Wieliczka mine. (9,400 more than in the corresponding period in 2017). The second place went to Italian tourists (30,000 visitors, 3,700 more), and the third to Germans (27,400 people, 5,100 more). The underground Wieliczka was also visited by Spanish (25,900), French (24,400) and American tourists (13,900). Chinese and Korean visitors also ranked high in this list – in the 11th and 12th place, respectively.
The graduation tower also enjoys great popularity among the visitors, as by the end of May, it was visited by 56,300 people (28,000 more compared to 2017). This year, the winter break in therapeutic inhalations lasted from mid-January to the end of March. However, frost and snow did not mean that the facility was completely closed – during the winter holidays, an ice rink was set up in the tower yard, which was used almost 4,000 visitors.
The “Wieliczka” Salt Mine is an invaluable monument, a world heritage site, which – thanks to the preservation works carried out underground – has a chance to survive for centuries to come. Every visitor contributes to the successful future of this unique mine, which was included on the UNESCO World Heritage list four decades ago.