2nd International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages - Krakow, 8-11.11.2018
The II International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages started on the 8th November 2018 with a Holy Mass celebrated by the priests that participated in the congress for the whole group of circa 100 touroperators from 30 countries in the new built Sanctuary of St. John Paull II in Biale Morza - Krakow.
At 10 a.m. we started working (lectures, presentations). We had 250 persons in the audience: 100 participants from 30 countries and 150 guest from Krakow and Poland.
2nd International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages - the afternoon of the 2nd day (8th November) was dedicated to an expo, a tourism fair, where the buyers (about 100 travel tour operators from more than 30 countries worldwide) could meet local, national and international offer (there were about 40 stands). Thousands of talks, opinions and experiences shared and expressed.
After the presentations, lectures and expo day we started our study tour (fam trip) in Krakow and surroundings. On the 9th November we went to visit the former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. This visit is always very sad but absolutely necessary.
After having visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in the morning we went to Czestochowa in the afternoon. We visited the most important shrine in Poland - Holy Virgin Mary called by the Poles "Black Madonna".
On the 3rd day of our congress-fam trip we had 3 visits: the first one was to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the shrine of the Virgin Mary on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After having visited Kalwaria Zebrzydowska we went to Wadowice to see the birthday place and the parish of Karol Wojtyla - Pope John Paul the II. Time is running, eternity is waiting...
Our 3rd day finished in Wieliczka Salt Mine: we visited this fantastic place (also on the UNESCO World Heritage List) and we had a gala dinner with a concert of Polish folk musice. We enjoyed it very much!
On the last day of our congress we have visited the most beautiful city of Poland - Krakow.
It was 11th of November - Polish National Independence Day, what is more, this year we could have seen, how Poles celebrated their 100th anniversary of Independance dating back to the 11th Nov 1918.
2nd INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF RELIGIOUS TOURISM AND PILGRIMAGES IN KRAKOW
IF YOU ARE A BUYER: MEET OTHER TOURISM PROFESSIONALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
IF YOU ARE A SELLER: PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT, MUSEUM, TOURISM ATTRACTION OR SHRINE
MORE DETAILS AND OFFER ON: www.icortap.com/en/expo
BE WITH US ON NOVEMBER 7-11, 2018
THE BIGGEST EVENT PROMOTING INCOMING TOURISM TO POLAND
We are happy to announce that the 2nd International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages "Following the Footsteps of the St Faustina Kowalska" will take place in Krakow, from 1th to 12th November 2018. 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, but also the the 1st Edition of the Congress in 2017, that has also been a great success.
The 2017 edition was attended by about 200 tour operators and tour agents from 30 countiries and has already become the most important event in religious tourism branch in Central and Eastern Europe. The highest number represented Spain, followed by Italy, but also other countries such as Japan, Malaysia, Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Canada, Israel and many more. The attendants expressed their gratitude for the organisation of such event, mentioning also the professionalism of the organisation and valued the opportunities that Krakow, Malopolska Region and Poland have to offer. The honorary guests of the Congress were also Fátima and San Giovanni Rotondo.You can check some photos here: www.icortap.com/en/gallery and www.facebook.com/ICoRTaP/ and on www.instagram.com/icortap_congress, and some comments here: www.icortap.com/en/opinions
"We saw with our own eyes how this new event has fit the calendar of events in Krakow: religious tourism professionals is what was needed" - says the organiser of the Congress Ernest Miroslaw, the owner of Ernesto Travel - the leading incoming tourism tour operator from Krakow. "We are pretty sure that the 2nd edition will be even bigger, with more participation of the regional and national organisations and that there will be more attendants from all over the World who will come to learn how to offer trips and pilgrimages to Krakow, Malopolska Region and Poland. Last year edition, despite being the first one, attracted 200 attendants. My aim for the second edition is 500 participants. I hope that next time there will be more non-European attendands, so we start promoting this event much earlier.
The Congress will be opened on the 8th November, by the both secular and clerical authorities of Krakow. An opening Holy Mass will be celebrated, followed by speeches, lectures and a workshop with the representatives of the local sanctuaries and tourist attractions. 9th, 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 place of contacts exchange between its participants, the promotion of Krakow and Malopolska Region as an important religious tourism and pilgrimage destination not only in Europe, but also worldwide.
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, that want to be buyers of the services in Poland.
Check the Congress program here: www.icortap.com/en/program
Check the workshop part: www.icortap.com/en/expoSee you in Krakow!
We are proud to announce that Ernesto Travel has been recognised by the International Network of Religious Tourism Agencies (REDITUR) as an agency specialised in religious tourism organisation & commercialisation in Poland and Central Europe. What's more, we are the very first Polish agency to be honoured by the REDITUR and which is allowed to use its logo!
Ernesto Travel, Conhpol and Grupa Kęty are winners of this year’s Małopolska Business Award in the categories of small, medium and large entrepreneur. The special prize, in turn, was awarded to the Kraków Technology Park. It is these companies that are the leaders of entrepreneurship in the region - they create trends, set development directions for others and without complexes compete on foreign markets. During the ceremonial gala the prizes were given to the winners by the Marshall of Małopolska, Wojciech Kozak: "The Małopolska Economic Award is an award dedicated to those, without which the economic development of Małopolska would not be possible. Their success testifies to the fact that our region has significant economic potential and great development opportunities "- said the deputy speaker during the gala.
The goal of the award, since its foundation in 2009 is to promote the best entrepreneurs from Małopolska and to inspire their development, promote pro-investment attitudes and concrete innovative achievements and increase competitiveness among entrepreneurs.
The winner of the Małopolska Business Award 2017 in the Small Entrepreneur category was Ernesto Travel company: the company has been operating on the Małopolska market since 2006. The main aim of this tour operator is to attract foreign tourists to Lesser Poland (Malopolska) and other regions of our country. They are a leader in religious and pilgrimage tourism in Poland. They organised the stay of some 16.000 pilgrims during the World Youth Day and 22.500 travellers during the whole 2016. During the last 3 years of the agency’s operation, they organised trips to Malopolska for people from over 50 countries.
A month ago, Ernesto Travel organized the first International Congress of Religious and Pilgrimage Tourism, a unique event in Poland and in this part of Europe. It was visited by 200 tour operators and organizers from 30 countries. This event, although organized for the first time, has become the most important and the biggest event on the market of meetings of incoming tourism professionals to Poland. It is worth noting that Ernesto Travel is the only company from the tourist industry that received the Małopolska Economic Award in the 9-year history of its award.
The awarded companies have the right to use in all company and promotional materials the title: "Laureate of the Małopolska Business Award 2017". In addition, they are applied by the Marshal of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship to the Economic Award granted by the President of the Republic of Poland.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We are honored to inform you that Ernesto Travel, together with His Exc. Card. Stanislaw Dziwisz and Krakow City Hall were awarded a special gift: a Father Pio Medallion and the Coat of Arms of San Giovanni Rotondo. The ceremony took place during the 1st International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages in Krakow
Thank you! Grazie!
The 1st International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages "Following the footsteps of Saint John Paul II" has come to a successful end last Sunday, November 12th, 2017.
It was supported by His Em. Card. Stanislaw Dziwisz, His Em. Abp Marek Jędraszewski and the director of the Polish Tourist Organisation. This event, unique for Central and Eastern Europe, attracted almost 200 tourism professionals, travel agents, touroperators who work in the Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages Sector, from more than 30 countries. The highest numbers represented the Spanish, followed by the Italian, but some more distant countries attended, too. Let us mention Japan, Malaysia, Paraguay, Argentina, USA, Canada, Israel and many other countries (mostly European).
We received many positive comments during and after the Congress. They expressed satisfaction and gratitude to the organisers of this event, stressed the professionalism, talked about the possibilities that the tourist and religious attractions of Krakow and Malopolska (Krakow Region) have to offer. Only during the Congress, some 30 groups were booked for the coming year; we are all aware that the success of this event will be long-lasting.
The aim of the Congress was to promote Krakow and Krakow region as an important religious tourism destination worldwide and to prove the importance of the religious tourism within the global tourism industry.
The Congress was inaugurated on the November 9th, at the Saint John Paul II Center in Krakow, by the Krakow City authorities and the representatives of Krakow Archdiocese.
The opening Holy Mass was celebrated by Bp Tadeusz Pieronek and 11 priests, participants of the Congress.
The morning was dedicated to speeches, lectures, presentations and meetings with the representatives of 23 different places and companies: sanctuaries, tourist places.
The following days - 10th and 11th November were spent visiting Krakow (the Old Town, John Paul II Centre, Divine Mercy Shrine) and Malopolska Region (Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz Concentration Camp Memorial in Oswiecim, John Paul II Family Home Museum in Wadowice, the Sanctuaries of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Czestochowa - the Black Madonna).
The Partners of the Congress all involved for the success of the Congress: the Municipality of Krakow, Malopolska Voivodeship (Region), Malopolska Tourist Organisation, Wieliczka Salt Mine, John Paul II Family Home, John Paul II Centre "Have No Fear", the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the Pastoral House of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Łagiewniki, Krakow.
The Congress was organised in cooperation with the hotels: Park Inn, Galaxy, Plus Q, INX Design, Vienna House Easy Chopin from Krakow, Mercure and Ib1st is - DeSilva hotels in Czestochowa, Imperiale Hotel in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), as well as restaurants: St Faustina Home, Pastoral House at Łagiewniki, Morskie Oko and Biała Róża in Krakow, coach companies Manifold and Luca Tour.
The Congress was sponsored by Signal Iduna, Bank PeKaO SA, Restaurant Wierzynek.
The media partners included Rynek Turystyczny, Wiadomosci Turystyczne, Tur-Info, Central de Receptivos, Viagens da Fé, ObiektySakralne.pl and some European editors who sent their reporters.
You can see the full list of the expositors at: http://icortap.com/pl/expo-sellers
The Congress was visited by the representatives of Fátima and San Giovanni Rotondo.
Visit our website: www.icortap.com
The next ICoRTaP Congress edition is scheduled for November 2018.
Below, some participant comments after the Congress:
Dear Ernest, Dagmara, Dagmara and Wojciech
Thank you so much for an excellent visit to Krakow!
I have learnt so much over the last few days and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be part of this. I have much to think about and will try and formulate some tour ideas to discuss with you – but I need some sleep first!
You created a hugely successful event and you should all be very proud of what you have achieved. Please don’t listen to any moans that you might get. Yes it was hard work but that is what we were there for, to see and do as much as possible in a short time.
Once again, many, many thanks
Greetings from Mumbai !!.
Thank you once again for the wonderful arrangements and giving us an opportunity to see your beautiful country. Your team a did a excellent job of co-ordination and also educated us on a lot of details to do with tourism. Will not forgetting to mention the excellent services also provided by the drivers, guides hotel staff etc.
We assure you of supporting tourism in Poland and will surely write to you for our queries.
We wish and hope that you continue to be the best and look forward to doing business with you soon.
God bless and warm regards
Thank you for a lovely trip.
I would like to wish you all the very best and you have lovely staffs.
For me it was a lovely experience to see Krakow and how beautiful the country is. I will get Simon to put up some of your tour itinerary’s on our website. We are a bit tired right now and will get back to you for some itinerary’s once we are settled.
Have a lovely day!
Dear mr. Miroslaw,
On the behalf of our team we would like to thank you for all the organization, planning and welcoming in Krakow.
Despite an intensive and very interesting programme of activities, it was our great pleasure in joining in and learning so much more about your historically and culturally rich country and city.
As I had mentioned to Deborah on the meeting after the talks, we have two groups planning to travel to Krakow in 2018.
I’ll be emailing you the temptive dates and itineraries this week so we can start working on the quotes and details.
Please give our warmest regards to the “guides” and drivers from bus 3 for their patience and resilience.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dear Mr. Ernest,
Thank you very much for your invitation.
I have participated on Thu morning session and I was pleasantly surprised, how interesting event and audience you have organized and brought to Krakow.
Unfortunately I was not successful to meet you in person, so I have talked to your Group manager
for Italien market, Aleksandra. I have left by her "greetings from Brno" for you.
Lucie Markova, Brno
Mr Ernest & Mr Gadek,
In behalf of my group we would like to thank you both and your organization for letting us join the congress. We had a lot of fun n shopping ? On our last leg to SFO now. Talk later....
"There is no end to adventures we seek if only we can explore them with open eyes."
I want to let you know that I had a save jouney back home.
I want to thank you and the entire Ernest Travel team for the congres.
I had some very interesting contacts with you and your team, so I am sure that we will keep in touch for our pelgrimage in 2019 (we don't have a pilgrimage planned in 2018).
Again thank you for those five days.
Fr. Jos Daems.
Thank you very much for the organization of this congress. It was my first trip to Poland and I was surprised by the beauty of the city of Krakow.
The visits in French were very great, with each time a very good tour guide. The quality of the hotel was excellent, and the restaurants and food as well.
Maybe just a few comments :
-the service in the restaurants (especially the first lunch on Thursday and the last dinner on Saturday) was too slow, and it was too bad that on Thursday we did not have the time to visit the Divine Mercy Sanctuary. But thankfully we could visit it on Saturday !
-The translation in the bus was for the first day only in Spanish, and it was sometimes a bit frustrating not to understand what was saying. But then on the following day, we had the translation in English as well.
I hope you are fine after this busy week !!!
Thank you to all the members of your team as well.
I am waiting for our next work collaboration.
You can find some photos from the Congress (licence free):
We will upload some of them to our gallery: http://icortap.com/pl/galeria
we hope you are having a wonderful summer, but we already have a nice offer for you for the winter. Why not go to Krakow?
5 reasons to visit Krakow in the wintertime (starting from end November):
- shopping on our Christmas Markets and shoping centers
- hot wine and beer on a market square and delicious food in our restaurants ( pierogi is a must to try)
- an exhibition of the Nativity Scene shown in the Historical Museum in Krakow
- comfortable hotels (4* and 5*) in very reasonable price with swiming pools and spa facilities
- warm up little bit in Wieliczka Salt Mine where temperature is fix - around 18 degrees
See the examples of the itineraries:
Christmas market in Krakow
Spa in Krakow
For women only
Hello, we invite you to see Ernest in an interview in Krakow TV.
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.
You can find more details and register by visiting the Congress website: www.ICoRTaP.com International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages.
See you in Krakow!
The Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow - Lagiewniki.
Today ,,The Lady with an Ermine" moved into National Museum in Cracow!
Price per person:
Below please find some flights possibilities:
from Oslo Torp to Krakow with Norwegian or Ryanair from 60,00 EUR per person
from Stockholm to Krakow with Ryanair from 55,00 EUR per person
from London Stansted to Krakow with Ryanair from 80,00 EUR per person
On the request we can prepare you a group offer.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
12 years ago, on the 2nd of April, our beloved Pope John Paul II passed away. As our travel agency focuses mainly on pilgrimages, we would like to remind you that you can visit with us places connected very closely with Karol Wojtyla: Krakow - the city where he studied, lived and became a priest; Wadowice - a small city near Krakow where he was born - now you can visit a modern, interactive museum of His life; Zakopane where you may admire his beloved Tatra Mountains.
See the program on our website under this link: On the footsteps of John Paul II.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Ernesto Travel at V WORKSHOP INTERNACIONAL DE TURISMO RELIGIOSO, Fatima!
Another great recommendation from the City Hall in Kraków.
Kraków gives hospitality to His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle - Cardinal of Manila who visited Poland this February.
We have received this beautiful reccomendation letter from ZOPOT in New York!
Dear Friends, Dear Colleagues,
As the Christmas is coming, we wish you great Christmas time and all the best in the upcoming new year.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
After a very busy summer we would like to welcome you to the new travel season 2016/2017.
We also inform you that we are at your full disposal for preparing trips and pilgrimages for Fall 2016 (last call) and for the upcoming 2017.
We offer tailor-made trips and pilgrimages, for individual travellers and groups to the following destinations:
Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Vienna, Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Warsaw and many more!
Please contact us for more tips, programs and suggestions, both for your travels in Poland and other countries.
Let us remind you that we also operate in the other European countries like:
- Baltic Countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia with Helsinki or Saint Petersburg,
- Prague and Czech Republic,
- Budapest and Hungary,
- Vienna and Austria,
- Berlin and Germany,
- Moscow and Russia,
- Bulgaria and Romania,
- Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje,
- other services in Europe.
We quote programmes for 2017 with early birds' prices and availability in the hotels in the city centers.
Don't hesitate to contact us!