© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

Spending by tourists from Russia and Belarus in Lithuania's shopping malls has dropped significantly over the last few years, but growing domestic consumption has made up for the losses.

Russian tourists spent 50% less in January-June 2015, compared to the year before, and the figure dropped 15% more this year. Meanwhile spending by Belarusian tourists went down 13% in both periods.

"Because of the war in Ukraine and the depreciation of the rouble, we had fewer Russian tourists in Lithuania. Later, we sensed the consequences of the dropping value of the Belarusian rouble, but these countries nonetheless remain our main clients," says Denis Grinevičius, director of Global Blue Lithuania which handles tax-free shopping.

In January-June this year, Lithuania was visited by 15% fewer tourists from Russia compared to 2015. The drop in the first half of 2015 was even sharper, 47%.

Tourism from Belarus dropped about 13% over both periods.

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