2021, Volume 13, Special Issue 1
The border as a resource – new places for tourism development. Evidence from two Carpathian tripoints
1Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences
Author for correspondence: Marek Więckowski; Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences; email: email@example.com
Background: The development of cross-border tourism and local resources based on the border has grooving the importance in last decencies. One of the most important tourist attractions on Polish borders are tripoints. This article seeks to discuss changes made, by reference to two border tripoints situated on the junction of Polish, Czech and Slovak borders in the Beskids Mountains and on the junction of Polish, Slovak and Ukraine borders in the Bieszczady Mountains.
Material and methods: Analysis of historical, legal and statistical materials as well as cartographic analysis and fieldwork were conducted. Informal discussions and formal in-depth interviews were undertaken with tourists in each of the researched tripoints: informal interviews/discussions with 45 tourists in the tripoint between Poland, Slovakia and Czechia and informal interviews/discussions with 40 tourists in the tripoint between Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Results: The tourists reaching tripoints in the Carpathians argued that the places have a great potential for tourism development. They underline great symbolic meanings, possibility to visit three countries in a short time and the importance of the point which is interesting and give an opportunity to take a nice photo. The presented research also exemplifies the concept of a new tourist space beyond traditional tourist destinations. This ensured the status of the tripoint as a resource, a “discovery”, and a curiosity.
Conclusions: The border tripoints give great opportunities for the development of tourism. Openness and permeability of borders can determine development on both sides of tourism related to the presence of the border, and offer an opportunity for cross-border attractions to be set up. Tripoints as emerging tourist attractions have appeared in new marketing materials and have the potential to serve as unique border attractions.
Key words: tourism, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Ukraine, border, tripoint, European Union