[IMG=20279-6052]At the beginning of June reaccreditation of tour operators that specialize in the Lithuanian market started in the Embassy of Lithuania, said Sergey Mikhailov, Director of Scandinavian Department of Labyrinth. However, new rules for accreditation procedure adopted by the Embassy allowed only several travel companies to be accredited. Thus, Mikhailov, commented on the situation: ‘in particular the Lithuanian Embassy requires from tour operators to present Contract concluded between a travel agent and a tour operator, a copy of courier’s foreign passport, accounting documents, documents from taxing authorities etc.’. As a result of the new rules adopted for accreditation procedure many travel companies offer their clients to prepare document on their own. ‘For individual persons it is easier to get visa at the moment, the minimum set of documents is required’, said Irina Baltrunene, Director of Baltturas. ‘However, not all of them can answer the questionnaire correctly, therefore, they have apply for visa several times, that provokes delays’, commented Lidia Domnikova, Sales Director of Baltia-Voyage.
‘People come to the Embassy at 3-4 a.m. to apply for visa. Consulate agents try to help. For example, on June 27th they started to accept documents half an hour earlier. Besides on July 6th and 7th the Embassy is closed due to national holidays but they will work on July 1st. But will it improve the situation?’, said Ekaterina Anufrieva, the Head of Business Tourism Department of 25th Hour.
Travel market experts are afraid the new rules adopted by the Embassy is a threat for tourism in Lithuania. They point out that individual tourists will hardly be a one third of the tourist flow supplied by travel companies.
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