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Tourism to Lithuania grows fast

By Ma Chenguang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-10 10:58

Bordering the Baltic Sea, Lithuanians praise their own "land of amber", which they say sits in the geographic center of Europe and is a relatively undiscovered gem of the continent.

Or in the words of Olga Goncarova, from Lithuania's State Department of Tourism, her compact and stylish nation has many things to offer: a safe environment, cultural relics, dense forestry in lush nature reserves, in addition to high-quality services at affordable prices.

Goncarova said her country is a "pure and clear" place, a natural attraction for wanderlust Chinese. She said they showed their growing appreciation and interest by paying 12,000 visits last year to the country of 3 million people, up 25 percent on the previous year.

She says Chinese, who made 122 million outbound visits internationally last year and spent a total of $109.8 billion, are considered "one of the fastest growing long-haul markets for incoming tourism" for Lithuania.

Amid this growing Chinese interest, Lithuania's ambassador to China said her country wants to see more mainland tourists in the future.

Speaking in Beijing on Monday, Ina Marciulionyte vowed to facilitate more promotional events and increase the number of visa centers (from the current six) in China, aiming to lure more Chinese visitors to the Baltic state.

The Lithuanian State Department of Tourism helped her call by sending English and Chinese-speaking officials and tourism operators to China on Monday, who told audiences in Beijing and Shanghai that their land is worthy of a visit.

Viktorija Raugaite from Amber Tours promised listeners in Beijing they could offer group and individual tours, escorted tours, tailor-made programs and weekend packages, with the motto "our focus is our client."

Zhang Min from the China Tourism Association called his visit to Lithuania in January "quite impressive" and offering "fabulous" views, but added that the Lithuanians needed to do more to lure more Chinese visitors, especially the young. Zhang said this could include more promotions and better methods of payment such as Alipay.

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