For the first time ever, Vilnius has been shortlisted by the prestigious Routes Europe Marketing Awards for having the best routes in Europe. As part of the awards, airlines are asked to nominate organisations based on marketing services supporting the aviation industry over the past year, with only five routes being shortlisted. Go Vilnius, the city’s tourism and business development agency, was acknowledged for its effective marketing of the Lithuanian capital. It was nominated together with the tourism bodies representing Vienna, Seville, Tampere and Croatia.
The European routes marketing awards are part of the broader International Routes Marketing Awards, which are considered to be the most significant in the global aviation market. Created in 1997, the awards recognise excellence in airport and destination marketing. The nominees and winners (airports and routes) are elected by airline representatives responsible for planning routes. Representatives of airlines like Virgin Australia, Norwegian, Air Canada, and more have elected previous Routes Marketing Awards nominees and winners.
“The fact that we have been shortlisted for these awards for the first time reflects the significant growth and progress our organisation and city are making in attracting curious travellers from around the world. It allows us to confidently say that the marketing actions undertaken by the City of Vilnius are being recognised more and more in the international arena. Improving our city’s international communication, self-presentation and visibility are of major importance to us – it ensures that airlines take notice of Vilnius and it ultimately facilitates cooperation with them,” says Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė.
According to Romanovskienė, the city has become better-known because of last year’s bold and creative advertising of Vilnius as the G-Spot of Europe. The advertising campaign attracted worldwide attention. According to the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, Vilnius welcomed 12% more tourists in 2018 than it did the previous year, while the number of overnight stays increased by 11%.
In addition, the tools used to attract and welcome foreign businesses and talent are also being implemented consistently. One of these tools is the Workation Vilnius programme, which proposes that business assemble teams of co-workers to, “try life and work in Vilnius on.” Applications from over 30 countries were received for the first edition of the initiative, which is set to launch for the second consecutive year. Other projects effectively targeted at foreigners include the digital Vilnius Relocation Guide, as well as the regularly held Welcome to Vilnius workshops that facilitate moving to and adjusting to life in the Lithuanian capital.
According to Romanovskienė, beside the campaigns helping to build Vilnius’ reputation abroad, consistent and constant cooperation with the airport has also been critical in making Vilnius more attractive to airlines. For example, cooperation between national and city organisations has led to new direct flights between Vilnius and London City Airport, which will be serviced by Lot Polish Airlines.
The winners of the European Routes Marketing Awards are set to be announced on 9 April, and the winner will be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes 2019 Marketing Awards in Adelaide, South Australia.