The Government is to carry out dissolution of the State Department of Tourism and to establish Lithuania Travel instead

Date

2018 08 22

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At the meeting on Wednesday, the Government decided that the State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy (hereinafter referred to as ‘the State Department of Tourism’) is subject to dissolution as of 1 January 2019. From the new year onwards, tourism marketing will fall within the scope of responsibility of a new public body Lithuania Travel, while tourism service providers will be supervised by the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority.

According to the Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius, it has long been clear that the current State Department of Tourism cannot operate effectively because of its inadequate structure; so the main task of this reform is to separate the functions of tourism marketing and the supervision of tourism activities.

‘The national tourism potential is not exploited: tourism flows still depend on four seasons of the year, the majority of tourists stay in the largest cities of the country despite the fact that the regions are also very attractive; better growth could be recorded in conference and health tourism. All this requires an organisation with strong analytical, product development and marketing competences. That is what Lithuania Travel should be like’, says Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius.

Lithuania Travel will carry out marketing and tourism promotion functions and will be responsible for raising the awareness of Lithuania as a tourism destination and for the development of inbound and local tourism. Lithuania Travel will be subordinate to the Ministry of Economy.

The functions of the supervision of tourism service providers will be moved to the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority. The authority will be responsible for the supervision of tour operators, retailers, tour package sellers and accommodation providers as well as for the representation of interests of tourists in the event of an insolvency or bankruptcy of the tour operator. Eight posts will be transferred from the State Department of Tourism to the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority from 1 January of the following year.