Tourism news Lithuania

The year 2003 was successful for Lithuanian travel agencies
Most of them have increased their sales and the number of tourists. There is a tendency of amalgamation and strengthening of the largest agencies. Travel agencies “Novaturas” and “Omnituras” would be the best examples of this successful cooperation.
According to the business daily made by “Verslo Zinios”, the biggest sales are counted in “West Express”: its sales in 2002 comparing to 2001 increased by 20 percent, “Baltic Clipper” grew by 30 percent, “Novaturas” – by 15. The data of al ll the agencies show that the biggest companies have become stronger, at that time the smallest ones have become weaker.
According to the number of the inbound tourists in 2002 the biggest travel organizing agencies are as follows: Liturmex, Lithuanian Tours, Delta Tours, West Express and etc.
Foreign guests are welcome in the Lithuanian country tourism
Travelers from the European countries make only a few percent of all the visitors of the Lithuanian countryside. The most usual guests there are Polish and Ge erman visitors, people from Scandinavia frequently ask about a country holiday in Lithuania.
Good example of an effective marketing could be Czech Republic, where the Lithuanian country tourism association has its representative. After the information about Lithuania in the Czech la

anguage was distributed, 800 tourists from this country came to spend a holiday in 48 farmsteads of Lithuania. According to the Lithuanian country tourism association, Diplomatic Missions of Lithuania could help a lot in advertising the traveling and leisure possibilities in the Lithuania’s countryside.
New hotels
A new hotel “Audenis” was opened in Birstonas this February. Till that time the hotel service in the resort was provided only by sanatoriums. The hotel “Audenis” was established by the textile enterprise “Kauteksa” in Kaunas. It has decided to take up in tourism as the alternative activity. The 10-room hotel could pretend to be given a 3-star category. The prices there are much lower then in Vilnius and Kaunas.
Besides, the owners of the “Audenis” expect to o revive the tourism service market in Birstonas. They plan to organize the flights by hot air balloons, the sightseeing excursions by aircraft (the air port Pociunai is located near the city).
A completely renovated 5-star hotel Congress was opened near the Neris river by the Green Bridge. The hotel has 85 rooms, a 45-seats conference hall. Also there is a European food restaurant in the cellar. A bar will be located on the top floor from which the guests will en
njoy the panorama of the center of Vilnius.
After the reconstruction the hotel “Vilnius” will become a luxurious “Marriot” group hotel. The 5-star hotel will have 178 rooms and a 500-sq. m. conference hall. It will aim at the big groups of the business class visitors. The reconstruction should last for 16-18 month.
New entertainment and services
Lithuanians are not very frequent visitors of the largest sanatorium in country “Egle”. 40 percent of the visitors of the Druskininkai sanatorium “Egle” were from Poland, 30 – from Germany. Lithuanians made up only 18 percent of all its clients.
9.3 thous. people visited the sanatorium during the last year. The heads of “Egle” expect at least 10 thousands visitors this year. Despite the season fluctuation the sanatorium worked profitably. Last year it had profit of 996.8 thousands litas.
Privatized in 2002 the sanatorium “Egle” is going to be not only the largest in Lithuania but also the most modern one. Its owners have ambitious development plans and foresee huge investments. This year they are going to assign 2.7 million litas for the modernization of the enterprise, in the next two years the investments should make up about 5 million litas.
Broker of the charter flights “Navis Expedita” began to render the service of the air ta
axi in 2002. The service of the air taxi could be described as a carrying of single persons or small groups of passengers according to order without any preliminary timetable. The company has 3-4 such orders per month.
Air taxi is usually ordered by the businessmen, sportsmen or by pop artists. The plane has 5 or 6 seats, the flying speed is 350 km/hr. The price for one hour’s flight – 600 EUR.
“Lithuanian Airlines” started to operate the route Vilnius – Brussels. The need for this direct flight appeared because of the EU integration process. At that time there are intensive tourist flows in this direction. This year the 49-seat SAAB 2000 will carry passengers 3 times a week. In 2004 “Lithuanian Airlines “ plans to increase the number of flights up to 5 times per week. The trip will take 2.40 hour.
Since the 31 of March the Aircompany Lietuva is operating a new route Kaunas – Palanga – Malme every working day.
The new entertainment, sport and business center “Forum Palace” was opened in Vilnius. There is a modern sport club “Forum” with its fitness hall, 3 rooms for aerobics and fighting arts, swimming pool and jacuzzi.
The nightclub “Galaxy” is located even throughout tree floors of the palace. There are 550 seats in its amphitheater ha
all. Over 1000 people can tape part in disco-parties. Also there are several conference halls. Two rooms could be used for seminars for 20 people, one hall has 100 seats, other two – 180 seats each. Conferences with 500 participants can take place in the nightclub’s premises too.
The first casino “Casino Planet” to be opened in Palanga on Basanaviciaus street this summer. Many other attractions are planed in the resort, because this year Palanga is celebrating its 750-year anniversary. Besides traditional events such as season opening festival, car racing, concerts and sports competitions will be organized especially for the anniversary.
The anniversary summer festival will take place in Palanga on the 6-8 of June, the classic musical project “The Fishs’ song or the incantation of the ship” will be performed in the park on the 30th of August.

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