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Growing impact of tourism on the Lithuanian economy

2017-10-13

It is the golden age for tourism now: during the first half of 2017, foreign tourists’ spending in Lithuania grew by almost one tenth and, compared to 2008, increased by almost 50 per cent, or EUR 210 million! This year, in the first six months, travel balance not only turned positive again, but also was one of the best during the last decade.  

According to the Bank of Lithuania, during the first half of 2017, spending of foreign tourists and one-day visitors in Lithuania (travel services exports) amounted to EUR 0.63 billion and was even 9.7 per cent higher than in the first half of 2016. As for spending of Lithuanian tourists and one-day visitors abroad during the first six months of 2017 (travel services imports), it reached EUR 0.55 billion and, compared to the first six months of 2016, grew by 6.5 per cent. In the first half of 2017, travel balance was positive and comprised EUR 0.078 billion (+39.5 per cent).

 

The share of travel services exports amounted to 16.2 per cent of the total services exports of the country and to 3.9 per cent of the exports of goods and services.

 

“Consistent tourism marketing conducted by the Department of Tourism is focused on priority markets of inbound tourism, i.e. target markets (France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom), long-haul markets (China, Israel, Japan, the USA), important and prospective markets. During the first half of this year, Lithuania attracted 692.6 thousand foreigners, i.e. 6 per cent more than in the same period last year. The largest growth was observed among incoming tourists from the USA (+24.3 per cent), China (45.1 per cent), Israel (19.8 per cent) and the Netherlands (+26.2 per cent). A growing flow of foreign tourists to Lithuania, the increase in spending by foreign tourists as well as the positive balance of exports and imports of travel services show a positive impact of the tourism sector on the country’s economy,” maintains Rasuolė Andrulienė, Senior Adviser of the Tourism Development Division of the State Department of Tourism.

 

Compared to the preliminary data of the Banks of Estonia and Latvia, the growth of revenue from inbound tourism was fastest in Lithuania (9.7 per cent, while during the same period the growth in Estonia amounted to 8.9 per cent, and in Latvia +0.8 per cent).

 

The indicators of tourism’s economic impact on the country’s economy are the following: the share of tourism revenue in the country’s exports, the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP and the number of jobs in tourism. In 2016, the contribution of the tourism industry to Lithuania’s GDP comprised 5.3 per cent, while the number of those employed in tourism reached 46.3 thousand.  



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