The representatives of museums, guides, tour operators and hospitality professionals together with the mayor Remigijus Šimašius flew in a hot air balloon over the city, inviting the soon-to-come visitors to enjoy the summer in Vilnius. Their balloon carried an inviting message ‘Vilnius is calling’.
The flight of tourism representatives coincided with the very first hot air balloon competition after the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of hot air balloons were a symbol of the perseverance of the tourism industry, which is starting up again with the help and support of the local people.
The balloon flight over the UNESCO-listed Old Town is one of the greatest attractions for tourists as well as for locals. Balloon flights over the city are possible only in a few other European capitals.
“During the last few decades hot air balloons have become an important part of the city life,” said Šimašius. According to the mayor, hot air balloons were chosen as a sign of hope and strength of Vilnius facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the strict health requirements, the city feels confident to open up for visitors and looks forward to another vibrant summer season.
Travellers from 26 countries are presently allowed to visit Lithuania without being subjected to two-weeks of self-isolation. This ‘safe list’ of countries includes Germany, Poland, France, Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Malta, and Spain. The renewal of international flights and the end of the quarantine regime next week provide even more possibilities to spend holidays in Vilnius, for which the tourism industry of the city has been preparing all along.