, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

Lithuania: the country hopes to become a city-break destination

26,000 French visitors in 2014

Lithuania would like to develop its city-break product and seduce French visitors. But, while it possesses many advantages to become a short-stay destination, it could be lacking in direct flights after the disappearance of its company Air Lituanica.

Rédigé par Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher le Vendredi 12 Juin 2015

Lithuania would like to become a short-stay destination for French visitors. © Vilnius Tourist Information Centre & Convention Bureau
Lithuania would like to become a short-stay destination for French visitors. © Vilnius Tourist Information Centre & Convention Bureau
How to develop city-breaks in a country when your main airline company has just run out of business?

This is the challenge that Lithuania must take on today, after the disappearance of Air Lituanica last May.

“We are rather optimistic and we are hoping that the government will solve this problem quickly,” assures Jurgita Kazlauskiené, the director of the Tourism Office.

Indeed, Vilnius is ideally located for a short stay, since it is only 2:30 hours from Paris.

But while waiting for the company’s recovery, one must leave from Beauvais to get to the capital, or make a stop-over in a neighboring country, particularly in Riga in Latvia, served by Air Baltic.

This country is currently in negotiations to buy-out all of the lines of the late Air Lituanica.

2.3 million French travelers per year

The development of Air Lituanica since two years was certainly not foreign to the development of the destination in France.

Close to 26,000 French people traveled there last year, an increase of 6.6%.

France is ranked the 13th in terms of arrivals in the country (2.3 million visitors in total.) French travelers stay an average of 2 to 4 days and spend 433 euros.

Around 40% of the tourists go through a travel agency, particularly Amslav and Alliance du Monde, the main distributors.

To seduce new clients, the destination attends the World Tourism Trade-Fair and organizes events from time to time, such as in Bordeaux last year during the launch of a charter with Alliance du Monde.

But since the closing of its tourism office in 2012, its field of action is limited since it is the Embassy that does what it can as the sole promoter.

All the perks for a city-break

Yet, the country deserves to be better known. Indeed, it cumulates all of the perks to become a wonderful city-break destination, just like Prague.

Fanatics of culture will marvel at the baroque architecture of its capital, Vilnius, listed at a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hikers can walk on the Curonian Spit, also UNESCO.

The country is also famous for its craft using an amber base and its astonishing Grütas park, that hosts the statues of former Soviet political leaders.

Finally, since its integration in the Euro zone on January 1st, 2015, travelers do not have to worry about currency issues any longer.

An additional argument to sell this destination with high potential.

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