The opening of new air routes connecting Palanga with Minsk and Kiev will not create a big influx of foreign tourists to the Lithuanian resort town, according to hoteliers and tourist businesses.

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© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

“The same as the Georgians, the Ukrainians still find it difficult to get into European Union countries. I’ve seen several cases where a group of people from Ukraine book rooms, pays money for accommodation but eventually fail to obtain Lithuanian visas. We then have to pay their money back, yet they lose some money due to transfer fees,” Kristupas Sliogeris, director of Palangos Zuvedra, the biggest hotel in Palanga, told Lietuvos Rytas.

Last weekend, the first aircraft from Belarus’ Belavia brought only 49 people to Palanga and that group largely consisted of Belarus reporters and representatives of tourism companies. Meanwhile, a Ukraine International Airlines flight on the same weekend had only 59 passengers on board.

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