Lviv Poised to become an Eastern European Economic Powerhouse

Motivated by preparations for the Euro 2012 football championships and charged with the possibility of cross-border trade with European Union countries, Lviv’s chamber of commerce, founded by decree by Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the oldest in Ukraine, and is in the forefront of economic prosperity. Construction, tourism, and recreation are the driving economic forces behind Lviv’s bid to be a major area of international economic activity in Eastern Europe.

Ukraine’s political instability following the Orange Revolution three years ago has done little to dampen commercial expectations. Balanced on the border between western and Eastern Europe, Lviv welcomes the opportunity to flourish internationally especially when the Euro 2012 football championships arrive in Ukraine. Six cities in the Ukraine have been chosen as host cities for Euro 2012: Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa and Kharkiv, although the latter two are being kept in reserve. Games will be played in four Ukrainian cities including Lviv. A planned new stadium is slated to be completed by 2010. Accompanying infrastructure improvements, road reconstruction, and an improved Lviv airport will ease congestion challenges.

What does all this economic buzz mean for travelers? If plans to reconstruct the Lviv airport in time for the football championships come to fruition, the city may just become an international air travel hub. Rather than flying into Kiev in order to find connecting travel to Lviv, visitors will be able to begin their Ukrainian travels in a city committed to preserving old world culture and 21st century progress long after the last football chant has faded.