Tatras sees record number of tourists in 2016

Last year, the Tatra National Park (TPN) received a record 3.5 million tourists, Szymon Ziobrowski, the Park’s director, announced on Tuesday.

“We had over three and a half million entries into the Tatra National Park over the last year. We welcomed three million two hundred thousand tourists the year before. No negative impact of such massive tourist numbers has been noticed. Remember that you must stick to marked trails when hiking in the Tatras and that is absolutely important, because as long as tourists keep to marked paths, the impact they leave on the fauna is not that serious. We haven’t observed any major changes in animal behaviour patterns, either. On the contrary, chamois, marmot and bear populations are doing quite well,” Ziobrowski explained.

Ten years ago, over two million tourists visited the Polish Tatras, and their numbers have been on the rise since then.

The Tatra Mountains enjoy peak popularity in the summer season. In July and August, almost one and a half million people come to Poland’s highest mountain range.

The TPN’s director judged that a vast majority of tourists move around the Tatras observing the Park’s rules and respecting the wildlife.

“Unfortunately, you may come across individuals who leave litter along the trail or spoil the environment in other ways, but the overall situation of Tatra wildlife is good,” he said.

Morskie Oko Lake is the most popular spot in the Tatras, attracting nearly half of all tourists. Most of them are Polish, but last year saw the first flow of tourists from Asia.

The Tatra National Park has 275km of marked tourist trails offering varying difficulty levels: from easy to very demanding ones, equipped with safety features such as chains, step irons, and ladders.

Source: PAP