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The main topic of this paper is to present the scale and nature of congress tourism in Cracow in the years 2008 and 2009. Methodology: The empirical material for the analysis was the result of the research prepared and conducted in Cracow in 2009 by the researchers of the Tourism Department of the Cracow University of Economics. The questionnaire was addressed to owners of venues possessing the necessary infrastructure for business meetings in Cracow. The rate of return was 50.42%. Main contributions: The paper consists of two parts: the introduction, where theoretical issues are explained, the essence of congress tourism is presented and the location of congresses in the world is specified. The second part is of an empirical nature, in which the research results are presented. The analysis concerns a number of congresses in Cracow, the amount of their participants, the structure of the venues hosting congresses and the structure of revenues generated by congress tourism, as well as an institutional profile of clients ordering congresses in Cracow. Conclusions: The results obtained allow us to conclude that congresses in Cracow in the years 2008 - 2009 gathered 5% of all MICE tourism participants. Moreover, according to an opinion expressed by experts from the business tourism sector, the role of congress tourism is going to increase in the future.

The “local partnership” term has recently frequently appeared in publications and studies concerning the problems of local development. Yet, it has not been fully specified. The purpose of the article is to try and explain the essence of the term in relation to the tourism market. Basic rules and purposes of building a partnership chain within the tourism destination and its participants have been discussed. Then the main initiators of local cooperation have been designated as well as forms applicable in practice.

Globalization has changed the world economy forever. The introduction of open market economies in many countries, the liberalization of capital flows and free movement of persons create an integrated and interdependent economy, in which tourism plays an important role. (UNWTO, 2009). The tourism industry is highly sensitive to global economic developments, so vulnerable to crises. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimated that international arrivals decreased by 4% in 2009 (UNWTO, 2010)...