Tag Archives: Inga Romanovskienė

Vilnius City Council approved the introduction of the Tourist Tax – Silvija Travel Tips

The Vilnius City Council approved the introduction of the so-called tourist tax by the majority of its votes (15 December 2017). Calculations have been made that having introduced this tax, the budget of the capital city should increase by about 2 million euros per year starting from 2019, while the collected funds would be allocated to increase international competitiveness of the city and to improve tourism infrastructure.

A tax of one euro will be introduced as from 1 July 2018. Considering the dynamics of the growth of the number of tourists in Vilnius, the plan is to have the tourist tax contribute an additional EUR 2.28 million to the budget of Vilnius in 2019.

Tourist tax funds are planned to be used to develop tourism infrastructure in Vilnius and to attract tourists to the city. The Council approved specific areas of use of the toll: to increase the awareness of the city, to improve international accessibility of the city (for example, flight development programme), to promote conference tourism and to increase touristic appeal of Vilnius.

According to Inga Romanovskienė, the Head of Vilnius Tourism and Business Development Agency “Go Vilnius”, considering the growing interest in the city of Vilnius and the continuously increasing number of business and recreational tourists, the need for active and consistent international tourism marketing in the city, which would help to effectively expand flight routes and improve the Vilnius city tourism infrastructure thus promoting the international competitiveness of Vilnius, has been increasing.

“The tourist tax will allow the city to implement significant projects enhancing the competitiveness of the city in the region, increasing the attractiveness of Vilnius and improving the tourism infrastructure as well as the emergence of new direct flights to Vilnius”, – said I. Romanovskienė.

Such practice is already used in many European and five Lithuanian cities. A tourist tax is collected in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and many other cities in 17 European countries. In some cities this tax is up to EUR 7. In Lithuania, the tax for lodging in hotels is currently collected in five cities: Druskininkai (EUR 1), Palanga (EUR 1), Birštonas (EUR 1), Trakai (EUR 1) and Kaunas (EUR 0.5, which will be EUR 1 as from 2019)). Tallinn is currently considering a similar tax.

The Vilnius City Council agreed with the calculation of the tax on the number of overnight stays in the city. The proposed tax amount per person for a single night stay is EUR 1 as from July of 2018. In the first year, tourist groups ordering at least 10 rooms will be exempted from the tax; benefits will also apply to patients, children under the age of 18 and older students, the disabled and those who plan to stay in Vilnius for a month or longer.

The local tax is calculated on the number of overnight stays of the accommodation service recipient. In the six months of this year, almost 0.5 million tourists stayed in Vilnius accommodation establishments, spending almost 930 000 nights in the city.

Based on the dynamics of growth of the number of tourists in Vilnius in 2013-2016 and the trends of increase of the number of nights spent in Vilnius, the plan is to have about 1.27 million tourists, who will spend 2.28 million nights in 2019. According to expectations, having introduced a tourist tax of 1 EUR per night, about EUR 2.28 million will be collected in 2019.

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

Inga Romanovskienė, Director of VšĮ Go Vilnius – Silvija Travel Tips

The Vilnius City Tourism and Business Development Agency Go Vilnius is now headed by Inga Romanovskienė. I. Romanovskienė, winner of a public competition announced by the Municipality who had previously worked as Acting Director of the company, says that she perfectly understands the extent of the responsibility and is ready for the interesting, albeit not easy challenges.

“Go Vilnius is expected to take active actions that will help new multinational companies establish their branches in Vilnius, create high value-added jobs, support and care for the established companies and make sure that the guests of Vilnius include it in the list of must-visit cities. I will strive for the team of Go Vilnius to be strong, motivated, competent and result-oriented. Together with the team we will send the message about Vilnius to the world, take care of the incoming businesses, guests and residents and implement changes necessary for Vilnius to become a strong competitor among the European cities”, – says Inga Romanovskienė.

Currently, the agency has 34 employees in the tourism, business and marketing departments, with almost one third of them taking care of the tourists in the city’s tourist information centres.
Vilnius is an ambitious city; therefore, the agency needs a strong, demanding and responsible manager. Before, I. Romanovskienė worked as Go Vilnius Head of Marketing for almost a year, managed the image department of UAB Maxima Lt for four years and accumulated a lot of valuable work experience in the fields of commerce and marketing.

According to I. Romanovskienė, the immediate challenges and activities are to show the advantages of Vilnius in the targeted tourism channels, to improve the accessibility of Vilnius by air, to present Vilnius at the international tourism and business events and, of course, to attract as many tourists as possible during the winter holidays.

In the longer term the new director says she will work towards closer cooperation with partners, reducing the seasonality of tourism and increasing the competitiveness of Vilnius among the potential investors and talents.

Go Vilnius is the official Vilnius City Tourism and Business Development Agency established in May 2016, expanding the activities of Vilnius Tourist Information Centre and Conference Bureau. The main task of the agency is to ensure the international competitiveness of the city.  www.vilnius.lt

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com