The survey sample included 156 Lithuanian tourism providers.
The aim of this research was to explain the reasons that are encouraging inbound tourism. Analysis applied a phone interview method.
After the world’s financial crisis, tourism service providers and hotel managers (and owners) started to express a bigger concern about inbound tourism flows and the prognosis of it. An increasing interest in aspects that initiate alterations in tourism sector and hotel market (decreasing prices of holiday packages, cheap flights and hotel reservations, better hotel service in other countries, etc) is observed.
Average expenditure of a tourist per day during the trip is related to length of the trip and variety of entertainment, attractions, and activities. The lack of occupation reduces the length of the trip, which reduces the average expenditures. According to the Lithuanian communications and marketing strategy for the period 2009-2013, the average expenses of a tourist in Lithuania per day are approx. 217.8 Lt. This rate is three times lower than the general average in the European Union.
State Tourism Department under the Ministry of Economy announced that Lithuanian tourism sector performed much better situation in the first quarter of 2011 than it was expected, and a few fields of tourism sector even broke the records.
“Such prognosis in the beginning of the year motivates to stay optimistic and stimulates to continue to implement our duties that were planned in advance. Great indicators prove that we have chosen the right strategy. Cooperation with Foreign Affairs Ministry, Economy and Transportation Ministries, and national airports shows excellent results. We have updated and intensified marketing activities, we constantly consult with municipalities, tourism information centres in Lithuania and abroad” proudly stated the director of State Tourism Department dr. Raimonda Balnienė.
The research indicated that during the first quarter of 2011 there were 39.4 percent more tourists visiting Lithuania than during the same period a year before. After summarizing statistics of Lithuanian commercial accommodation establishments, it is seen that accommodation reservations increased from 107.000 during 2010 to 150.000 during the first quarter of 2011. Statistics show the increasing flows of tourists to Lithuania from strategically important countries. Some countries are breaking tourists flow records. The biggest record belongs to tourists from Ukraine. The increase of this segment reaches 104 percent.
Kaunas was awarded as the most attractive touristic place in 2010 by a very popular Spanish magazine “QTRAVEL”. According to Raimundas Michnevičius , the director of Lithuanian TIC from Barcelona, Spanish tourists show high interest in Lithuania and more often choose it as their holidays destination.
In 2011 a special national delegation was sent to a tourism trade show in Chine. The main goal was to promote Lithuania as a touristic place and to increase inbound tourism. China has increasing economy and huge tourist flows, which makes Chinese people a target segment. During the tourism trade show Lithuanian delegation signed two bilateral agreements.
Expected expanses of a Chinese tourist per day are 300-350 Lt.
Encouraging indicators were observed in 2011, when local tourism increased from 1 percent to 7.6 percent. This suggests that Lithuanians more often choose Lithuania as their holiday’s destination and they are eager to discover new places as well as new activities on the national level. State tourism department shared the hope that Lithuanians will continue spending their vacations in Lithuania and not in foreign countries.
The research emphasised a few features that have positive influence on inbound tourism:
- Traditional crafts festival;
- Beautiful landscapes;
- Relatively cheap service;
- Good service;
It could be concluded that foreign tourists are attracted to the traditional Lithuanian craft festivals; therefore, there should be more attractions in this area with broader variety and better quality. Additionally, dissemination of information is very important for the promotion of inbound tourism. Consequently, tourists should be able to reach information about Lithuania, tourism services and products, upcoming events, and other activities easily. Attractive and easily reachable information plays a crucial roll in inbound tourism.