The Lithuanian government will compensate hotels for accommodation costs of every third night spent by tourists in a bid to attract more visitors, with over 750,000 euros earmarked for the purpose this year.
Lithuania offers free third night's stay in a bid to attract more foreign tourists
© Bendrovės archyvas

Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite expects at least 20,000 tourists to make use of the new measure in place as of Thursday.

"On average, a tourist spends 350 euros in Lithuania. Of course, we expect many tourists to come, and we estimate that this measure could increase the number of tourists by at least 20,000," the minister told a press conference.

"We want people who come to Lithuania for a weekend or a few days to stay longer here. Statistics show that people spend 2.4 nights in Lithuania and over four nights in Latvia," she said.

The measure will be in place through November 8, but may be extended if it proves effective, according to Armonaite.

Dalius Morkvenas, director of Lithuania Travel, the government's tourism promotion agency, said that over 100 accommodation businesses, including around 40 hotels, participate in the project.

"A tourist browsing the Internet will see a special banner pop up and offer them to visit Lithuania," he said. "If they want to do so, they will need to leave their e-mail address and will have a special code sent to them so that they can make a reservation."

Half a million foreign tourists stayed at Lithuanian accommodation establishments last year, a decline of 73 percent from 2019. The flow of tourists dropped by 30 percent in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

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