In late summer, 43 percent of Lithuania’s residents polled thought that the country’s economic situation had worsened over the past few months, reports ELTA. Among those questioned, 12 percent said that it, on the contrary, got better. Four out of 10 said that the situation remained unchanged. The survey by the market research and public opinion company Baltijos Tyrimai on Aug. 24-31 showed that over the month from July’s poll the country’s economic situation assessment has not changed. Compared to a year ago, public opinion has improved as now there are 7 percent less of those who think that the economy is deteriorating. The percentage of optimists went up by 5 percent over the year. Most of those disappointed by the economic situation are residents over 30 years old, residing in smaller cities and towns, jobseekers, pensioners, respondents with lowest family income (up to 1,200 litas euros per month).
On the occasion of European Tourism Day on Sept. 27, the Chamber of Tourism was established in Lithuania. The founders say that their key task is to urge the governmental institutions to solve transport to Lithuania problems and the country’s image issues. The Chamber of Tourism unites eight different Lithuanian tourism associations. The head of the Chamber, Evalda Siskauskiene, says that so far Lithuania is “the best hidden gem of Europe,” as the tourism marketing is very poorly financed. “It is good news that during the first half of 2011, around 800,000 foreigners visited Lithuania. The official hotel occupancy rates in H1 stood at 42 percent, which is not a very positive figure. I believe that the H2 data will definitely be better as those 6 months involved many different events and the EuroBasket 2011. The goal of the Chamber of Tourism is to work and force the government to pay more attention to tourism, making it a priority economy sector as it holds vast potential,” Siskauskiene said. The Lithuanian State Department of Tourism says that incoming tourists in H1 spent 500 million litas more than outgoing Lithuanian tourists bought abroad.