A total of 831,000 foreign arrivals – a spike of 9.25% – was recorded in H1 2019, the highest in the past five years. The number of domestic and foreign tourists who travelled in Lithuania with at least one overnight totalled 1,750,000 or 11.30% more than in the same period in 2018.
German tourists remain in the lead among foreign tourists visiting Lithuania. Like a year ago, the ratio of German tourists remains the largest. In H1 2019, 93,600 German tourists or 9.37% more YoY visited Lithuania. The next largest group is Polish (10.52% YoY growth) and Russian tourists. Belarus and Latvia are fourth and fifth on the list, respectively. Poles and Latvians spend increasingly more time in Lithuania – the length of their stay in Lithuania is growing.
Record number of tourists from France. Tourists from France remain steadily among the top ten largest groups of tourists (by country) visiting Lithuania. An impressive 24.42% growth in H1 2019 was recorded. French visitors spent over 40,000 nights in Lithuania and the length of their stay increased by over 3% – on average, they stayed in Lithuania for almost two nights.
Continuing growth in inbound tourism from Ukraine, United Kingdom and Finland. As in Q1 2019, growth in incoming tourists from Ukraine is continuing. This country is among the six countries whose inhabitants account for the largest groups of tourists in Lithuania. During the first six months of this year, 51,400 Ukrainian tourists visited Lithuania and spent a total of 107,400 nights. They are the leaders according to the growth in the length of stay (9.09% growth) among the top ten largest groups of tourists visiting Lithuania by country. Ukrainians spend over two nights in Lithuania. A two-digit growth in the number of incoming tourists from the United Kingdom and Finland has been recorded for the third consecutive year. A total of 36,300 tourists from the United Kingdom and 20,900 Finnish tourists (at number ten) visited Lithuania in the first six months of the year.
Lithuania continues to attract tourists from distant markets. There was a record growth of tourists from China and Israel in H1 2019. A total of 9,000 Chinese tourists visited Lithuania, 36.6% more compared to the same time last year. The number of tourists from Israel, who particularly like Lithuanian resorts/spas, also grew by more than 30% with 9,400 tourists visiting Lithuania in the first half-year. The number of tourists from Japan and the USA has not diminished – 12,400 and 20,900 tourist arrivals, respectively
Domestic tourism continues to break records. In H1 2019, 919,000 inhabitants of Lithuania had travelled inside the country with at least one overnight at a tourist accommodation provider. The figure is 13.23% higher YoY. Domestic tourists account for more than half of the country's tourism market – 55.2%. This ratio compensates for seasonal fluctuations characteristic to foreign tourist flows. By way of comparison, in Latvia, domestic tourism accounts for only about 30% and in Estonia – about 40% of the tourism market.
These statistics do not include a significant portion of private tourist accommodation, including a rapidly increasing number of tourists using the services of Airbnb.