The implementation of measures to promote the Lithuanian tourism sector is gaining momentum

Date

2020 06 10

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Today Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, the Acting Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and Innovation, has reviewed the progress of an ongoing aid for the tourism sector program and the situation concerning compensations for the urgent tourist transportation back to Lithuania due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Ž. Vaičiūnas, “Tourism innovations”, an investment measure allowing tourism businesses to reorient their usual activities to innovative ones, has attracted a great deal of interest. 38 applications worth more than 1 million euros have already been received since the last week when the measure had been launched. The measure is available to tourism service companies and tourism business associations.

Under the measure "Tourism Innovations", tourism companies will be able to receive up to 38,5 thousand euros, while tourism business associations will be able to apply for 66 thousand euros. The maximum possible amount of financing for the development and improvement of tourism services is 20 thousand euros, for marketing of tourism services - 10 thousand euros, and for the training of employees in the tourism sector - 5-30 thousand euros. The projects will have to be implemented by 2020. Applications are accepted until August 31 by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology. 2 million euros in total will be allocated based on this measure.

“Other measures to promote the tourism sector, such as "Loans to tourism service providers" for tour operators, classified accommodation establishments and catering companies, and "Insurance guarantees for tour operators", are currently awaiting the notification from the European Commission. After it is received, a public consultation on the conditions of the measures will be carried out through the Legislative Information System,” said the Acting Minister of the Economy and Innovation Ž. Vaičiūnas.

Speaking about compensation to tour operators for losses incurred for organized transportation of tourists, Minister Ž. Vaičiūnas stated that all tour operators, who had to carry out unforeseen organized tourist transportation due to the emergency situation, have been contacted and asked to provide information on their losses to the Ministry of Economy and Innovation up to June 12. Experts will thoroughly assess the losses incurred by tour operators and implement compensation mechanisms.

A package of 2 million euros worth of tourism marketing measures, administered by the national tourism promotion agency "Lithuania Travel", has also been launched.

"The funds allocated for marketing will significantly contribute to the recovery of the sector - the measures financed by them will be aimed at increasing the number of foreign arrivals, maintaining flights and other available infrastructure, and promoting local tourism. Firstly, we will launch digital advertising campaigns for tourism products and flights. We are also planning content campaigns in Lithuania and target foreign markets, as well as sales promotion actions, including a proposal to reimburse every third night's accommodation in Lithuanian accommodation establishments. We hope that the additional incentive will help increase the demand for tourism services,” said Dalius Morkvėnas, Director of Travel in Lithuania.

A system of compensation for tourism services provided to health care workers is also being prepared. From September 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020 employees of Lithuanian health care institutions will have the opportunity to purchase tourism services, and the cost of services will be reimbursed by the state. The reimbursement per person will be up to 200 euros. The compensation mechanism worth of 10 million euros will be used to promote the use of tourism services and to thank the health care workers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to speed up the process of opening borders and to increase the number of foreign arrivals, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation is also conducting bilateral negotiations with foreign countries on the opening of green corridors for tourism purposes. Ž. Vaičiūnas has already participated in a conversation with the Israeli Minister of Tourism and discussed the possibility of opening the borders of both countries to create a cross-border travel corridor. The conversation was also conducted with the Minister of Economy of Sakartwell. An interview with the Maltese Minister of Tourism and Consumer Protection is scheduled for the next following days.