Gdańsk has been nominated in the European Best Destinations 2017 contest, which has been run for 8 years by a tourism organization based in Brussels. This year the participants were: Porto (1st place), Milan (2nd place), Gdańsk, Athens, San Sebastian, Sozopol, Vienna, Stari Grad, Basel, Madrid, Rotterdam, Rome, Paris, Bonifacio, Wild Taiga and others. During three weeks, there were over 426,000 votes given from over 170 countries – much more than during last year’s edition of the contest. Gdańsk, the only candidate from Poland, received nearly 47,000 votes, being a favourite in Denmark, Norway and Germany, and also very popular among voters from Portugal, Spain and even Japan. Judging from previous editions of the contest, Gdańsk may experience a 15% growth in tourist traffic, which would be an even larger boost to its continuous development and increasing attractiveness.
Unusual location on the coast of the Baltic Sea and literally between the East and the West of Europe, as well as over thousand years of history make Gdańsk a distinctive point on the map. Moreover, it changes its face from day to day. Not long ago it was in the centre of events that changed the history of Europe. August 1980, strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard led by Lech Walesa and creation of Solidarity, a great social movement, captured imagination of millions.
Today’s Gdańsk is a modern, European metropolis, centre of culture, science, entertainment and sport, an attractive tourist destination. As the birthplace of Solidarity, Gdańsk is becoming a centre for debate about the modern world; as the World Capital of Amber it fires the imaginations of fashion and jewellery designers; as a city of freedom it inspires artists; and as an ICT centre it attracts the most innovative in today’s economy. Gdańsk is on the list of cities from throughout the world recommended as tourist friendly by The New York Times. Lonely Planet has also put Gdańsk on top of the list of places worth visiting in Poland. During Summer of 2016 the city has been visited by nearly 770,000 tourists from all around the world, with average visit rating 8,8 / 10.