SEASONALITY OF LITHUANIAN NATURE TOURISM: VISITOR‘S PREFERENCES
Keywords:nature-based tourism, seasons, seasonality mitigation
Seasonality in the tourism sector is described as a change in tourism due to seasonal changes or a temporary change in tourist flows. In Lithuania, the tourism seasonality is recognized as a problem requiring a solution. This study has identified that every visitor/traveller who likes nature, prefers nature-based tourism or has plans to spend some time in nature is facing the tourism seasonality in Lithuania. The results of this survey support the idea that the most popular time for nature trips in Lithuania is summer time or the warm light season of the year. There are several reasons why visitors wish to go out to nature: many visitors hope to get good quality and exciting entertainment or educations, others are expecting for nature's aesthetic and other values, including beautiful landscapes and fresh air. Lithuanians usually choose nature trips with family or friends travelling by car for an average 3-7 days. The most of survey respondents plan trips in advance, search for information on the Internet, social networks, or use the recommendations of friends to visit one or another natural object, and almost do not use the services of tourism companies. Interest in one or another natural object and its attendance is primarily determined by weather conditions, activities and educations adapted to the exact season. This survey has shown that people wishing to choose non-seasonal natural tourism facing many problems. Depending on the season, tourism infrastructure could be more suited to all seasons, as well as respondents expect new educations adapted to different seasons or their indoor alternatives. In the recent years, more frequent extreme climate periods (heat, rainfall in summer, cold or wet periods in winter) have begun to change, most often reduce, visitor flows.