Wiedza o Camino de Santiago wśród studentów kierunku „Turystyka i rekreacja”
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The development of Polish sections of Camino de Santiago (longer than 5,500 km) and the development of reverence of St. James the Great in the last decade in Poland is a sort of an exceptional phenomenon. However, when looking at multiple sections of the "shell" route in Poland, one may have an impression that only the first step has been taken. Even if it is just the first step, it is actually elementary – it involves the marking of the route which is unfortunately incomplete in many places. Subsequent stages related to the functioning of the Way are still waiting to be executed. The most important of many obstacles to the further development of Polish sections of the Way of St. James include the absence of the tradition of pilgrimages along the Way of St. James in Poland, a different nature of pilgrimages and excursions to Camino de Santiago – which is not reflected in traditional pilgrimages to Polish pilgrimage centres organised for centuries, insufficient tourism and pilgrimage infrastructure, and little knowledge about the Way of St. James, about St. James the Great and about the tradition of pilgrimages to his tomb in Santiago de Compostela among the Polish society. This paper presents the results of a survey which was aimed at testing the knowledge of students about the Way of St. James and shrines in Santiago de Compostela. The survey was administered during the period of 2010-2014 on a group of 673 first-year students of full-time and extramural studies of Tourism and Recreation of three higher education institutions: Pedagogical University of Krakow, the Podhale State Higher Vocational School in Nowy Targ and the Bronisław Markiewicz State Higher School of Technology and Economics in Jarosław. The survey results make it possible to confirm that the Way of St. James still remains a new topic for a large part of the society, especially teenage and adult students. Only 34% of respondents declared that they already encountered the term “Camino de Santiago.” Although almost half of the students (45,2%) stated that they had heard about the Sanctuary of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, only 12.4% declared that they knew someone who went along Camino de Santiago whereas 12.04% of respondents answered that they saw the “shell of St. James” in Poland.
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