In November, Lithuania received thrilling news: the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Route in Lithuania including all four branches, i.e. Žemaitija(Samogitia)/Königsberg, Šiauliai, Kaunas and Vilnius, was certified for the new period of three years by the decision of the Institute of Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. In 2017, the afore-mentioned network of the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Route was certified for the first time, thus, acquiring international recognition. There are a lot of pilgrimage and tourist routes in Lithuania; however, only two of them are recognised internationally, i.e. the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Route, the afore-mentioned branches of the way and the Jewish Cultural Heritage Route. In Lithuania, the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Route goes through 40 municipalities of our county; the Association of Municipalities of Saint James Way of Lithuania established in June 2016 which currently unites 25 municipalities takes care of the development and infrastructure of the route. Currently, the Association is headed by the Mayor of Alytus District Municipality Algirdas Vrubliauskas who was elected as the President several weeks ago; the chairman of the Board of the Association is the Mayor of Varėna District Algis Kašėta. The Association of Friends of the Way of Saint James, which is in charge of marking of the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Routes and the objects to visit in them, awareness raising activities (annual relay race of the young ambassadors of the Way of Saint James) and, in general, dissemination of information on the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage Route and its branches in Lithuania, operates in Lithuania since 2012. Saint James Pilgrimage Route and its branches in Lithuania, operates in Lithuania since 2012. First of all, visibility and new cooperation opportunities, since the members of the Network of the Cultural Routes of Europe benefit from the opportunities of advertising and communication of the Programme of Cultural Routes. The certification also provides a unique opportunity for the heads and members of the Cultural Roads, the users of the heritage objects, investigators, creative businessmen, tourism providers and public authorities to establish relations with partners all over the continent, share the good practice, learn from the global trends and changes and obtain global knowledge about the cultural heritage and tourism management tools and methods. Where the heritage objects and related projects are eligible for funding, the certification of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe provides quality assurance. The European Funds allocated approximately EUR 17 million for the Cultural Routes of Europe certified during the last five years and the funds were distributed among the Cultural Routes and their partners on local and regional level (Interreg, Erasmus +, Horizon 2020, Cosme, Europe for Citizens etc.). Pilgrimage routes run through less known places at the same time promoting the activities of the local communities providing everyone an opportunity to use the cultural heritage. The operators of the cultural routes cooperate with local artists, writers, architects, craftsmen, church and many others as well as schools and local business, thus, creating a synergy with the variety of local cultural players. As 90 per cent of the cultural routes cross rural areas, this provides additional cultural, social and economic opportunities to less known areas, people living in them. All this is just some of the opportunities provided by the certification of the Cultural Route of Europe. The fact that certified pilgrimage routes diversify the supply of tourism services by creation of new tourism products and services, prolongs the tourism season in general is equally important. Tourism is the third economic activity in Europe by size; tourism products and services make 10 per cent of the European gross domestic product and 12 per cent of employment of the local residents is related to provision of tourism services. The Cultural Routes of Europe are an ideal tool for development of sustainable cultural tourism.