Following the England team’s success in Friday night’s Euro showdown, Breaking Travel News takes a look at some of the infrastructural developments that have taken place in Poland and Ukraine ahead of UEFA 2012.
EURO 2012 has been a catalyst for many changes in Ukraine and Poland, with new infrastructure and facilities – ranging from new airport terminals, to spanking new hotels set to enhance the tourism appeal of both destinations for decades to come.
Ukraine boosts transport infrastructure
More than 73.8% of Ukraine’s UEFA EURO 2012 investments were related to the transport infrastructure modernization (urban transport, roads, railways and airports).
In each hosting city, new airport terminals were built, including new runways in all cities except Kiev.
Boryspil International Airport has been reconstructed boosting capacity to 8 million passengers. New terminals have been built with the latest technology, aircraft and equipment.
Meanwhile Kiev Airport has also been rebuilt enabling it to handle international flights. After rebuilding of the runway, air control facilities and lighting equipment, the airport can receive Boeing or Airbus class aircraft with a full load.
In April this year a new international terminal was put into operation, which increased the capacity by 320 passengers per hour and increased the quality of service. The new terminal, with a total area of 12,000 square metres, is equipped with eight check-in counters, three baggage conveyors, a new information system and a parking lot with 300 spaces.
New high-speed Hyundai railway trains linked the host cities – Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk.
A number of roads and city squares have been renovated, new overpasses and intersections were built.
For the first time in 20 years the capital received two new bridges across Dnipro – Havanskyi and Darnytskyi, easing traffic. In addition, new parking facilities are in place.
The National Sports Complex received a total facelift with a glass façade and cover in the form of hanging canopy made of translucent membrane. The result is an “Elite” category stadium and a capacity of 70,050 seats, of which during the UEFA matches 68,055 seats will be used.
All the seats at the National Sports Complex in patriotic blue and yellow colours are made of high quality material which is fireproof.
A number of hotel developments have been taking place in order to accommodate the half a million visitors expected in the capital.
In the capital 13 new hotels have been built,16 have been renovated and 51 hotel have been re-equipped.
The official tournament tour operator – the TUI Travel Plc travel agency has concluded agreements with existing hotels for almost 6,500 rooms.
Ukraine’s vice PM and minister for infrastructure Borys Koleskikov said, “The government has built international airports, the business has built hotels. Now our joint task is to fill these hotels constantly. We must make Ukraine a centre of business and tourist attraction”.
Kolesnikov revealed that after the Euro-2012 Kyiv and Lviv would become successful tourist centers, while Donetsk and Kharkiv would develop business tourism.
Poland invests billions in infrasturcture ahead of Euro 2012
Poland’s infrastructure spending associated with the UEFA EURO 2012 amounted to 110 billion zloty (about €25.6 billion). 63 billion zloty was connected with road construction. Investment in hotels also increased.
According to Polish statistics, 1,300 branded rooms were added during last three years.
Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister explains: “We have spared no efforts to guarantee you an unforgettable football festival, to be enjoyed in a fantastic atmosphere and the most comfortable of conditions.”
“For the last five years, like the rest of the world, we have been coping with the economic crisis.
“Despite this challenge, we have invested billions of euros in modernising our infrastructure.
“New stadiums are waiting for you in Warsaw, Poznań, Gdańsk and Wrocław. Maybe it is not for us to boast, but many people have said that the new facilities are some of the most modern in the world.”
Poland’s National Stadium in Warsaw hosted the opening match
“Poland has made tremendous progress in her development. Two decades ago, we were a poor post-communist country on Europe’s eastern frontier.
“Today we are the country that has averted recession during the recent turmoil and become the biggest construction site in the European Union. I invite you to see for yourselves the scale of change that our country has undergone.”
Mobile guides in place for host cities
Mobile web development company World Mobi Limited recently unveiled eight free city guides for Poland and Ukraine, which are quick to download and easy to use.
Each unique mobile guide, which can be run on mobile devices, smartphone browsers or desktops, includes extensive information ranging from accommodations, to restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and transport. In addition there is emergency information to hand.
Other innovative features which travellers can tap into to maximise their experience, include currency converters translating tools as well as web links and contact details for featured services and stadium details for the Euro venues.