The Polish effect - the success of Euro 2012 beyond expectations

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More than 140 days after the end of the Euro 2012 in Poland the experts have summed up the actual results of the third largest sport event in the world, that was organised in our country.In case of Euro 2012, the so-called Polish Effect occurred, whose impact on the economy, the development of foreign tourism and the country image will be greater than that of the Barcelona Effect.Moreover, the organisation of the European Championships in Poland brought better results than those previously assumed.

Owing to Euro 2012 Poland may be visited each year by 766 thousand foreign tourists more than the previously forecasted 489 thousand.The additional income from foreign tourism in 2013-2020 period may also be higher than expected.Instead of the forecasted additional PLN 4.2 billion it may amount to PLN 7 billion, which is a better result by as much as 67%.The cumulative positive impact of Euro 2012 on GDP in 2008-2020 may amount to PLN 21.3 billion.

During the Euro 2012 Poland has been visited by over 677 thousand foreign tourists and fans from 123 countries across the world.296 thousand of foreigners were having fun at the stadiums, while outside the football arenas, namely e.g. in the funzones, restaurants, bars or open-air match viewing areas, that number was by one-fourth higher than at the stadiums and it amounted to 370 thousand of foreign guests.Additionally, during the Tournament Poland welcomed ca. 8.4 thousand foreign journalists, 2.4 thousand members of football national teams and ca. 400 foreign volunteers.

The Tournament organisation, undoubtedly, had an impact on the significant, as compared to forecasts, increase in the expenses of foreign guests by giving them the sense of comfort and security.The extremely friendly atmosphere created during the Euro 2012 by all Poles, who welcomed foreign guests with a smile as the motto prescribed: “Feel like at home” was of considerable significance for this success.This is evidenced by the results of the surveys conducted by PBS among foreigners during the Tournament.It showed that 85% of foreign guests felt safe in Poland, 92% very highly assessed the atmosphere in our country during the Tournament and 85% highly appreciated the Championship's organisation in Poland.

What is the Polish Effect?

Already today the experts determine the impact of the Euro 2012 preparations and organisation in Poland as the Polish Effect, whose influence on the economy, image and national development is greater than in case of the Barcelona Effect.The Polish Effect consists, above all, of such elements as considerably faster infrastructure modernisation and increase in the productivity of the economy, strengthening of the image of Poland abroad, or greater than expected increase in foreign tourism and revenue on that account.Another significant element of the Polish Effect is the establishment of a major social capital.The Polish Effect includes also the acquirement of the very valuable know-how regarding the management of complex, large and difficult projects.

Opportunity to achieve higher than expected revenue from foreign tourism

The increase in foreign tourism on account of Euro 2012 may be significantly higher that it was initially assumed.Because of the positive opinions of foreign guests, as well as a lot of positive news on our country in foreign media, the image of Poland has improved very significantly.This is evidenced by the research on national brands.The analyses conducted at the beginning of 2012 by the London Brand Finance Institute show that this year Poland has noted the highest increase in the value of the national brand from all of the 100 examined countries - by as much as 75%.The value of Poland’s brand has increased from USD 269 billion to USD 472 billion.Our country was ranked among the top twenty countries with the most valuable national brand.According to the experts from the Brand Finance Institute this followed considerably from the organisation of Euro 2012 Championship.

In total, given the revenue from June 2012, the additional income from foreign tourism related to Euro 2012 organisation in 2012-2020 may amount to PLN 8.1 billion.

Speeding up the country's infrastructure modernisation

The Polish Effect of the Euro 2012 preparations and organisation also consists in speeding up the implementation of infrastructural investments strategic for the country’s further development and comfort of life for Poles.All implemented investments were included in the plans and would have been implemented also if Poland had not been organising Euro 2012.But the preparations to the Championship significantly sped up the implementation of these projects.According to the authors of the Impact report, in case of transport infrastructure investments this acceleration amounts to 3-5 years, and in case of sport infrastructure it is even 5-10 years.

Additional GDP growth

The Euro 2012 preparations and organisation will also bring Poland an additional GDP growth.

The value of the cumulative forecasted GDP growth amounts to PLN 21.3 billion.Owing to the Euro 2012 preparations and organisations the economy will be winning additional funds until 2020.The most important source of the GDP growth is the speeding up of transport infrastructure investments – 74.1% of GDP increase.Tourism is ranked second – 13.1% of the entire GDP growth.

Social capital - Poles have found confidence

The preparations to the Championships and Euro 2012 organisation made it possible to build an extremely valuable social capital in Poland.During the European Championships Poles acted like real hosts and believed in their own success.According to surveys conducted by the PBS as much as 93% of Poles believe that Euro 2012 helped to enhance the image of Poland abroad, 72% is of the opinion that the Tournament preparations and organisation have influenced the economic development of the country at the times of the crisis, and 86% stated that we, as a country, are good at organisation and management.

Through Euro 2012 we have gained a unique know-how

However, the Polish Effect of the Euro 2012 preparations and organisation does not only consist in speeding up the infrastructure modernisation, increase in foreign tourism and building of valuable social capital.The experts draw attention to one more, extremely significant and valuable aspect of conducting the European Championships in Poland.

More than 5 years of preparations to the Tournament and then the very event - third largest sport event in the world, enabled Poland to create a unique know-how within the scope of difficult projects management.Poland acquired several hundred experienced project managers at different levels of public administration and joined the elite club of countries that are able to organise the biggest and most complex events.These skills may be used in the future when implementing different types of projects, not only sport events.

One of the most important elements of the acquired know-how is the ability of to manage projects in an accurate and coordinated manner.The Deloitte experts in the report “Project management of strategic projects for Poland based on the example of EURO 2012” (Zarządzanie projektowe w projektach strategicznych dla Polski na przykładzie Euro 2012) point to the fact that the value of financial benefits for Poland following from the project management conducted by the PL.2012 company coordinating the Euro 2012 preparations amounts to ca. PLN 70.5 million.

The Euro 2012 hosts have raised the bar very high

More than 5 years of preparations to the Championships in Poland and organisation thereof was also very highly scored by the UEFA - owner of the Tournament and Poland’s partner in the Euro 2012 preparations.“The Euro 2012 hosts have set the bar very high for the future which will be difficult to match” - Michael Platini summed up the European Championships in Poland.Very positive opinions on Poland also appeared in the western European media.“Poland shines" - reported the FrenchLe Monde, while the British The Telegraph wrote “Poland is now a dynamic, zealous and vibrant country”.The very good organisation of Euro 2012 in Poland has also been appreciated by foreign fans and tourists that have visited our country during the Championships.According to the surveys conducted by the PBS, 85% of the fans have given a positive assessment of the Championship’s organisation in Poland, 79% plan to re-visit our country and as much as 92% of foreigners recommend Poland to their friends as an attractive tourist destination.

The Euro 2012 summary was based on:

1.       The impact of the UEFA EURO 2012™ European Football Championships on the Polish economy(Raport IMPACT na temat wpływu przygotowań i organizacji Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej UEFA EURO 2012TM na gospodarkę Polski) - prepared by the scientific personnel of the Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Łódź under the scientific guidance of professor Ryszard Rapacki, commissioned by PL.2012. Perspective of the report 2012-2020, Poland-wide scale.

2.       Report “Foreigner arrivals to Poland in relation to the organisation of Euro 2012 European Football Championships at the background of arrivals of foreign tourist to Poland in June 2012”(Przyjazdy cudzoziemców do Polski w związku z organizacją Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej Euro 2012 na tle przyjazdów turystów zagranicznych do Polski w czerwcu 2012 roku) - prepared by the Institute of Tourism on the commission of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism.The report concerns only the arrivals of foreigners and their expenses in Poland and constitutes an extension of the annual research conducted by the Institute of Tourism.The perspective covered by this report is the time of the Tournament on a nation-wide scale.

3.       Report “Project management of strategic projects for Poland based on the example of EURO 2012” (Zarządzanie projektowe w projektach strategicznych dla Polski na przykładzie Euro 2012)- developed by Deloitte.It pertains to the estimated benefits from the approach adopted by the PL.2012 to project management under Poland’s preparations to Euro 2012.