Cooperative movement as a form of social and economic movement is an important link in many world economies. The traditions of Polish social economy that is the Polish cooperative movement are undoubtedly important and at the same time extremely interesting. The history of 'Gromada' National Tourist Cooperative is a part of this tradition.
Gromada started its operations on 10th February 1937. On this day, at the initiative of the Union of Rural Youth 'Wici', the Trade Union of Cooperative Workers, Agricultural Cooperatives and Agricultural Organizations, the Tourist and Leisure Co-operative 'Gromada' was established.
The founders had an intuition of having a good business idea, which was confirmed over the next eight decades. In the beginning, the Cooperative conducted a typical tourist activity by organizing training and recreation trips for Polish farmers to the countries of northern and southern Europe: Denmark, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. The participants of these trips had the opportunity to combine leisure with learning and finding out about modern agrarian techniques and technologies.
A travel agency of an international service standard was created, which has become a window to the world for citizens of the Second Polish Republic.
Gromada has significantly contributed to the development of the tourism industry in Poland. Tourist traffic became an element of economic interest for the owners of hotels, restaurants, means of transport, as well as local governments, who notice the potential of economic activation of their towns and regions.
Bold plans, such as the construction of a transcontinental ship, were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Most of the property of the Cooperative was destroyed. Twelve years after the war, the founders continued their undertaking with even greater impetus. In 1958, they initiated a systematic expansion of the network of tourist offices and hotels, which in short time gained foreign partners, tour operators and started effective cooperation with countries open to tourism to Poland and Europe. Over the next decades, the potential of the National Tourist Co-operative 'Gromada' was evolving and changing along with the Polish economy.
Seeing the Cooperative from the angle of its over 80-years activity, its position as an important tourist and hotel company in Poland should be granted.
The first hotel opened at the beginning of the1960s by the Cooperative was the facility in Warsaw at Plac Powstańców Warszawy 2 called 'Dom Chlopa' - the name widely known even today and often used. At five-year intervals, hotels in Zakopane and Łomża were created. The cooperative did well in the conditions of the semi-closed economy of the bloc of socialist countries, hosting and serving hotel guests according to high, western standards.
The seventies and eighties are the times of building new buildings and including big resorts in Międzyzdroje, Niechorze and Krynica-Zdrój to the newly created Gromada Group. Another facility was built in Radom, after which, in order to fill the gap in the hotel chain in the north-western part of Poland, the Cooperative bought and launched a hotel in Poznań and Koszalin under its own brand. The hotel offer was also extended with professional conference services.
Today's Cooperative successfully restructurates its potential with hotel facilities in Warsaw, Koszalin, Toruń, Busko-Zdrój, Piła, Poznań, Zakopane, Łomża and Radom, as well as two holiday resorts in Międzyzdroje and Krynica - Zdrój. What makes Gromada hotels exceptional is their excellent location, Polish traditional cuisine and a perfect combination of tradition and modernity. All facilities offer a wide range of hotel, catering or conference services, a good standard of accommodation and professional service.
Tourist offices 'Gromada' (own and licensed) provide services to domestic and foreign clients by organizing weekend trips and holiday stays in Poland and abroad, organizing incentive trips, comprehensive travel services for both institutional and individual clients with a package of additional services (airline, ferry, coach and rail tickets, full insurance, visa services, hotel reservations, transfers, car rental).
Gromada constantly improves the functioning of its tourist service, taking into account the specificity of particular types of tourism and the creative function of travel agencies in the modern world.