Birštonas was presented in Riga

Lithuanian tourism opportunities were presented at the international tourism exhibition "Balttour’09" in Riga which lasted for three days (6–8 February). Focus was placed on the most important events which commenced this year. The forthcoming events offer many good reasons to visit Lithuania: celebration of the millennium anniversary of Lithuania, events linked to the project "Vilnius–European Capital of Culture 2009", and the European Men’s Basketball Championship 2011. Our country was represented at the exhibition by specialists from the State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy, as well as Vilnius and Kaunas municipalities, and tourist information centres of Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Alytus, and the resort towns of Palanga, Trakai, and Birštonas.

Many visitors were interested in the bright green stand which represented Lithuania, and they inquired about cheap travel opportunities, economy class hotels and guesthouses. There were even some Chinese and Japanese outbound tourism organisations that expressed a wish to cooperate with Lithuanian agencies in order to offer attractive travel packages for Chinese and Japanese tourists.

The exposition was divided into thematic sectors: Latvian tourist routes, tourism agencies, tour operators, hotels, SPA and transport services, and national stands representing other countries. 160 stands from 29 countries worldwide were set up at the exhibition.

The exhibition coincided with the trade mission "Buy Latvia. Buy Baltics" which was held in Riga. Lithuania presented its SPA and golf novelties, as well as opportunities for taking part in the Tall Ships’ Races this year. SPA services and unique tourist sites within our country (e.g. Aukštaitija narrow-gauge railway) received particular interest.

The Birštonas resort was presented at the exhibition for the seventh year.

The neighbouring Latvian market is very important for our resort. Interest has been growing each year. In 2007, 165 Latvian tourists used the services of Birštonas Tourist Information Centre, compared to 513 in 2008.

During the exhibition, Latvians were interested in scheduled cultural events, seasonal and non-seasonal leisure offers, active leisure pursuits, water tourism, etc. This year, Latvians were more interested in information regarding the Birštonas resort which was presented in the Latvian language, rather than other foreign languages.



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