Over the last several years, Lithuania’s tourism industry has been hit by dwindling numbers of tourists from Russia. However, unrest in other holiday destinations and the stabilizing purchasing power of Russian consumers have allowed a limited recovery.
Russian tourists are an important target group for the tourism sector in Lithuania due to the tendency of high income earners to visit for extended periods of time.
With an average tourist spending 10 days in Lithuania, Marketing Director for Grand Spa Lietuva Audrius Abromavičius pointed out that through cooperation with Russian tourism agencies and the combination of value pricing with high service quality that stands out in the entire East European region, Lithuanian sanatoriums have managed to attract renewed flows of Russian tourists.
Another factor in the resurgence is the stabilisation of the Russian rouble. Both Abromavičius and Chief Economist for the Nordea Bank, Žygimantas Mauricas, echo one another in stating that the stabilisation of the rouble has contributed to the inflow of Russian tourists. With the initial shock of sanctions and economic turbulence now over, signs of stabilisation reduce fears among high-income earners in regard to spending on leisure.
According to the director of the Eastern Europe Studies Centre, Linas Kojala, the situation has become “stably unstable”. Russian tourists at the moment have few convenient destinations, especially as relations with Turkey, a previously extremely popular holiday destination, only starting to normalise. Therefore with things having been relatively calm on the Ukrainian front until recently and the value offer that Lithuania has, Lithuania has once again become a viable destination.