Laimonas Ciūnys

Domestic tourism reduces the seasonality of the sector

375.6 thousand or more by 15.4 per cent. The growth in the number of domestic tourists in quarter I of 2019 was the greatest in the last 5 years! Residents of Lithuania who travelled within the country in January, February and March also tended to stay the night in the accommodation establishments more frequently: they spent there 795.6 thousand nights, i.e. by 14.1 per cent more than in quarter I of 2018. During the mentioned period, 663.4 thousand tourists travelled in Lithuania and spent at least one night in tourist accomodation, representing an increase of 10.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Lithuanians tend to travel within their country more than Estonians or Latvians. The growth of domestic tourism in the first quarter even adjusted the shares of the Lithuanian tourism market: residents of Lithuania travelling within the country represented 56.6 per cent of the overall tourism market. This indicator compensates the seasonal fluctuations inherent to the incoming foreign tourist flows. In comparison, in Latvia, domestic tourism comprises only about 30 per cent, in Estonia – about 40 per cent of the total tourism market.

Growth like overall in Europe. “The growth in the number of tourists in Lithuania over the mentioned period – 287.8 thousand or +5.4 per cent – matched the global trends: according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the increase of the tourist flows in the entire European region during the first three months of the year was 5 per cent on average. In the next quarter, an intensification of foreign tourist flows is forecasted. A particularly optimistic indicator refers to the growing average duration of the foreign tourists’ stay in Lithuania”, said the head of Lithuania Travel Dalius Morkvėnas.

Neighbours visiting. The biggest number of tourists in quarter I of this year who spent at least one night in Lithuania came from Russia (37.9 thousand), Belarus (37.6 thousand), Latvia (29 thousand), and Poland (26.1 thousand). Significant is the fact that tourists from Poland spent more time in Lithuania; on average, their stay in quarter I amounted to 2.21 nights (during the same period in 2018 – 1.95 nights).

From two countries – the most substantial growth since 2015. In quarter I of 2019, the tourist flows mostly increased from the Ukraine (24.1 thousand tourists or +32.1 per cent, compared to quarter I of 2018). The Ukraine is among the TOP10 foreign tourism markets of Lithuania. The growth in double figures was also characteristic to the tourist flows from the United Kingdom: 13.8 thousand people spent at least one night in Lithuania during the first three months of this year (an increase of 24.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2018). Improved possibilities to reach the country by air (in May, flights from Vilnius to London City airport started) should increase the attractiveness of Lithuania as a tourist country for the British people even more.

See detailed data here.

 

These statistical data do not include the rural tourism establishments and private sector as well as the Airbnb network that is rapidly gaining popularity. According to the estimates of the public tourism promotion agency Lithuania Travel, these indicators would represent an additional 30% of tourists who travelled in Lithuania and stayed at least one night.