The minister believes that a Michelin-starred restaurant would stimulate recovery of international tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic levels.
“A Michelin restaurant in Lithuania will help speed a recovery of the tourism sector. We are now actively working on that,” Armonaitė told reporters on Wednesday.
The minister also said that 1.15 million foreign tourists had stayed in Lithuanian accommodation establishments by October 2023. The number of foreign tourists increased by 18% from the same period last year.
The public broadcaster’s news website lrt.lt in August reported that Lithuania was holding talks with the prestigious Michelin guide over rating some of its local restaurants.
“As far as I know, such an agreement has been signed, but it is not being made public,” Evalda Šiškauskienė, head of the Lithuanian Association of Restaurants and Hotels, told lrt.lt.
Michelin inspectors’ visit could cost around EUR 500,000, she said.
Dovilė Seliukė, spokeswoman of the national tourism development agency Travel Lithuania, did not confirm the agreement had been reached.
“The processes are in place, but I can neither confirm nor deny that the contract has been signed,” she said.
France’s Michelin guide has been ranking the world’s best restaurants since 1900.