Health tourism will open a new phase of cooperation between Lithuania and Kazakhstan


2023 01 30


Tourism representatives of the governments of Lithuania and Kazakhstan agreed in Vilnius on joint actions to promote tourist flows and envisage more active cooperation in international tourism organisations. 

After the meeting, Vincas Jurgutis, Deputy Minister of the Economy and Innovation of Lithuania, and Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan, signed an agreement whereby the countries committed to exchange experiences in recovering tourist flows lost due to the pandemic and war in Ukraine, to cooperate in the field of health tourism and to develop sustainable tourism. 

"It is in the interest of both countries to find solutions to strengthen the tourism sector and to work together for recovery in this area. Lithuania can offer a wide range of services to tourists from Kazakhstan, but in particular we can attract them with our country's high quality health tourism services," said Vincas Jurgutis, Deputy Minister of the Economy and Innovation.

The variety of Lithuanian tourism services was presented to the Kazakhstan delegation during the 10th International Tourism and Active Leisure Exhibition "Adventur" at the LITEXPO exhibition centre, where, among other things, it was possible to find out about the possibilities of health improvement in Lithuanian resorts. Foreign tourists are interested in the local natural remedies used in Lithuanian resorts, sanatoriums and spas, such as mineral waters, therapeutic mud, Lithuanian herbs and amber. Representatives of Kazakhstan said that they would consider having their country's stand at next year's exhibition, and proposed to organise Lithuanian tourism days in Kazakhstan and to establish closer relations with Lithuanian tourism service providers.

Currently, one of the main obstacles to the development of tourism between Lithuania and Kazakhstan is the lack of a direct flight. The Russian-led war in Ukraine has made connections between Kazakhstan and Lithuania even more difficult.

"Kazakhstan tourists are familiar with Lithuanian health resorts and would be happy to visit us for health tourism services, but in the absence of a direct flight, they prefer resorts in other countries. When analysing the statistics of health tourists coming to Lithuanian spas, Kazakhstan is not yet in the top ten of the countries coming to Lithuanian spas, but we hope that these indicators will change in the near future. After all, Lithuanian spas are very attractive in terms of their services and natural resources," says Lina Nosevič, Director of the National Association of Sanatoriums and Rehabilitation Institutions.

During the meeting, Lithuania also presented its intentions to run for the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) for 2023-2027 and asked for Kazakhstan's support in the elections. 5 countries from the European region will be elected to the Executive Council.

Lithuania was briefed on Kazakhstan's tourism development programme up to 2025 and its priority markets, including Lithuania.

Tourist arrivals from Kazakhstan are increasing. In 2021, 2,516 tourists from Kazakhstan arrived in Lithuania (7,728 overnight stays), and in the first three quarters of 2022, 2,871 tourists (8,004 overnight stays) came to Lithuania from Kazakhstan.