Economic Efficiency of Polish Social Cooperatives Operating in Tourism and Event
Purpose: The aim of this study is to examine the economic effectiveness of Polish social cooperatives operating in the tourism and events sector and the factors determining this effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach: The study used such research methods and techniques as, analysis of primary and secondary documents, dynamics indexes, sales profitability analysis. The documents enabling the determination of the economic situation of the cooperative were the current financial statements, balance sheets, profit and loss accounts and reports on activities obtained from the National Court Register. The selection of a cooperative for research was guided by the fact that the financial statements had been submitted and that it had been operating on the market for at least 3 years. The research covers data up to and including 2019, i.e., from the period before COVID-19. All Polish social cooperatives operating in the tourism and events industry were analyzed. Findings: In the years 2006-2017, 168 cooperatives were established in Poland in the area of tourism and events, 64% of which are in operation. Despite the obtained financial support, 61 (36%) entities, including (82%) established by natural persons, did not survive. The results of this study show that the financial condition of social cooperatives operating in the field of tourism and events is poor. Only 26% of them achieve profits, 50% balance their activities with a small profit, and 24% achieve no profit and have declining revenues. Almost half (48%) of the surveyed entities generate annual revenues of up to PLN 100 thous., and 36% in the range from PLN 100 to 300 thous. Research shows that the economic efficiency of cooperatives results mainly from their legal form and the possibility of diversifying their activities. Practical implications: The research results are helpful for organizations supporting activities in the field of social economy and social cooperatives. In order to improve the functioning and increase the number of social cooperatives operating in the tourism industry and to improve their economic efficiency, it is necessary to change the way of their management and legislative changes. Originality/value: For the first time, all Polish social cooperatives operating in the field of tourism and events were analyzed and a critical analysis of the financial situation of social cooperatives was made in relation to their legal form.