The purpose of this paper is to understand differences in tourism companies' potential participation in foresight projects (regional or tourism policy-oriented) by focusing on companies' attitudes towards participation, cooperation and the culture of future-oriented thinking. This study used an email survey sent out to tourism companies in the Malopolska region (Poland), and in particular its capital city, Krakow. The data received were statistically analysed using the cluster analysis method and the Mann–Whitney U test. The statistically significant results generated in the study made it possible to determine and understand the differences in the foresight orientation of tourism enterprises. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.