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Will winter activities promote local tourism in Lithuania?

2015-12-01 , Updated 2015-12-03 00:00

Today, the calendar winter has begun which will give for Lithuanian people an opportunity to enjoy this season's biggest attractions.

"Not all the countries can enjoy the four seasons, and we urge everyone to try winter activities which are not possible to experience in summer, fall or spring. Skiing, sleigh riding, ice sailing: these are just some of the pleasures worth leaving warm home in winter. All regions of Lithuania offer vast and varied winter entertainment, we will wait until temperature goes down, and at least a little bit of snow," said Indra Trakimaite-Seskuviene, the Head of the Local Tourism Subdivision of State Department of Tourism (hereinafter - the SDT).

You can go ice sailing not only on the Curonian lagoon, but also on all frozen lakes. Enthusiasts of this sport like Rekyva, Plateliai and Galve lakes. Both, children and adult like sleigh riding, when sleigh is pulled by husky dogs. Such activities are offered in Kernave and Vievis authorities. Ride on a horse-drawn sleigh is offered by most rural homesteads.

A lot of skiing services are offered this year. The renovated Liepkalnis winter Sports Centre in Vilnius offers up to ten slopes, Ignalina Winter Sports Centre - four slopes, Anyksciai - also four slopes, Birstonas - one slope, and Druskininkai - one open and two closed. Pajuris region also finally offers ski slopes for enthusiasts: renovated Utriai hill in Klaipeda district offers even four ski slopes. If there is not snow, it is not a problem, snow machines produce snow in all the listed locations, just temperature below zero is needed. Everyone can rent all the inventory in ski centres.

Thousands of plain skiing lovers annually participate in "Snaige" hikes which have been held in Lithuania since 1963. They take place in surroundings of Vilnius, Kaunas, Siauliai, Panevezys and Jonava.

There are few other popular winter sports festivals, which attract thousands of visitors: it is winter rally in Utena (the tenth rally will be held in January, 2016) and the horse race taking place in Dusetos on Sartai lake.

"We hope that the abundance of winter activities will encourage Lithuanian people to travel around the country during the off-season. Domestic tourism is a rapidly growing area. According to accommodation statistics, only during the first nine months of this year local tourism has grown by almost 11 percent. This is good news and we hope that the annual growth in domestic tourism will be not less than 10 percent," said I. Trakimaite-Seskuviene.

Within 9 months of this year, number of domestic tourists in Lithuanian accommodation establishments has increased by even 10.8 percent, if compared to the same period last year. In comparison: 556.1 thousand of domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments of the country in 2010; only 502 thousand of Lithuanian people – in 2005.

Currently, it is estimated that local tourists represent 45.1 percent, while foreigners – 54.9 percent of the total tourism market.

 



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