2021.08.02 15:17

Inbound tourism stagnates as Lithuanians resume trips abroad

BNS2021.08.02 15:17

Tourism companies say easing quarantine conditions, active vaccination against the coronavirus and harmonised travel requirements are encouraging Lithuanian residents to travel abroad more. However, foreign tourists are shunning Lithuania.

Foreign travel organizers say travelers are much more optimistic this summer than they were last year as people have learned to adapt to pandemic conditions.

"We are feeling a strong recovery, especially where we have direct flights, rather short-distance destinations,” Donatas Kireilis, head of the Kelioniu Akadamija travel agency, told BNS.

“Trips are planned a month in advance, a maximum of six weeks. Looking into the future, quite a number of people are still concerned and don’t know what will be next," he added.

Meanwhile, Aleksandras Sukovas, CEO of Tez Tour, says it's too soon to speak about full recovery of the tourism sectors as only initial signs are visible.

Everything will depend on the pandemic situation and how its management will change not only in Lithuania but also in countries that are popular holiday destinations among travelers, according to Sukovas.

Tez Tour saw its number of travellers more than double from 11,000 to 25,000 people in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year.

"The growth in the number of tourists was affected by the easing of the lockdown conditions, the vaccine rollout and harmonized travel requirements. We see that countries accepting tourists are better prepared and have more experience," Sukovas told BNS.

Meanwhile, representatives of the incoming tourism sector say they are not seeing any recovery.

"People are traveling but the incoming tourism sector has not recovered. Trips are possible for groups of fully vaccinated people, and they are not many of them,” said Gintarė Antanėlytė, head of Amber Tours. “Moreover, it’s hard to get into the country due to a drop in flights, and people are choosing vacation trips to Europe's seasides.”

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