Buried. How tourists behave in Zakopane?

Zakopane has been one of the most visited cities in Poland for many years. The highlanders agree that Podhale is ready to welcome every guest. We checked what kind of tourists we are in the times of crisis and ubiquitous high prices.

Hotel or apartment?

For many tourists choosing a hotel, it is to be a guarantee of peace and certainty that other tourists will know how to rest and behave culturally. The reality often turns out to be completely different.

– If young people come, it is strongly focused on partying. There is alcohol, there are questions to the staff about the possibility of dealing with other psychoactive substances – says Sławomir Werewski from Hotel Zakopane Wellness & SPA.

– They come here to have fun, to have fun, to forget about problems and often forget about self-control. They think that if they have paid, they can smash the apartment to pieces – adds Gerard Wolski, owner of the apartments.

What, apart from alcohol, is the biggest bane of Podhale hoteliers?

– It happens that items such as hotel lamps or pillows are lost after guests’ visits. Towels, bathrobes, trays and electric kettles are also lost. Guests sometimes think that if they have paid for the room, the things that are there, partly belong to them – adds Werewski.

– There are twisted light bulbs, obscured smoke detectors, TV remote controls disappear – says Piotr Zygarski from the PRL Hotel.

As every year, many young people came to Zakopane. Often they are tourists focused primarily on partying, not mountain trips. The owner of a guesthouse near Zakopane had to close one of the apartments by such a group.

– These were the first guests in our brand new apartment. It was a group of kids 18-19 years old. After a week’s stay, the apartment was in need of renovation. There were holes in the walls, flooded walls, flooded beds, everything was for renovation – says Gerard Wolski.

A season different than usual

Hoteliers, sellers and restaurateurs from Podhale agree that the summer season in 2022 is different from the previous ones.

– You know, there are a lot of tourists, mainly families with children, but people are looking for savings because everything has become very expensive – accommodation, food, transport and people feel it – says Marek Łopata from Góraleczka restaurant in Zakopane.

There are also tourists who cynically take advantage of the high traffic in restaurants at Krupówki and melt into the crowd before paying the bill. It is the scourge of the season for managers.

– Guests come, drive, drink and leave. This happens at least twice a day. In every restaurant in Krupówki, they will confirm it. They laugh at us, because they will get a fine of PLN 100 and that’s it – says Damian Weber, restaurant manager.

– There has been a change of clientele. This season, they are mainly “volleyball players”, ie those who come to the guesthouse with huge nets from a nearby market. They do not buy breakfast, lunch or dinner. They organize everything on their own in rooms – adds Piotr Zygarski.

Preparing a meal on your own in a hotel room often means big problems for the owners.

– Eggs or sausages are boiled in the kettles. Soaked cabinets and carpets mean that we incur huge costs, often higher than our earnings – says Zygarski.

How do hoteliers rate a tourist visiting Podhale during the season?

– We leave a very bad impression. It would be important for us that the guests who visit us raise their children so that they know that when you enter a restaurant, you say “good morning” to everyone, that it is good to say hello and smile to other tourists. We are afraid that a new generation of tourists is being created who consider bad behavior as the norm – summarizes Piotr Zygarski.

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