Distinctive and original culture, the old-time hospitality of Mongols, a remarkable variety of scenery, and the rich animal and plant kingdoms of Mongolia exert a fascination for tourists. Since Mongolia’s transfer to the market economy in 1990, the tourism sector has evolved into a critical part of the country’s development. It has been a major factor in Mongolia’s union with the world trend of globalization. Mongolia’s tourism sector has grown steadily over the 15 years, and there are now more than 534 private companies operating in the sector, around 60 of which are partly foreign owned. The number of tourists to Mongolia continues to increase, and is around 170.000 a year. The tourism sector directly employs around 12.000 people.
In accordance with the declaration of 2004 as the Discover Mongolia Year, the numbers of foreign tourists have been increasing and statistics 300,537 leisure tourists visited Mongolia out of total of 305,117 visitors and compared to the previous year, the number of arrivals increased by 49.4%. Income from tourism is estimated at US$ 181 million and increased by 58% compared to the previous year, which accounts for 10% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Most tourists in the country are from Japan, France, UK, South Korea, Germany and USA. Mongolia has great potential as a tourist destination because of its vast, unspoiled steppes, mountains and deserts and its unique culture and history. Several opportunities for investment in the tourism industry are available through the government’s privatization program, including construction and management of hotels and camps operated at an international standard.
The Government of Mongolia has recognized tourism as a priority sector with a great potential to contribute to socio-economic development of the country.
Implementation of “Development of Tourism in Mongolia” Project during 1998-1999 within the framework of the EU supported TACIS program has resulted in formation of legal framework for development of tourism industry in Mongolia. In addition to this the development vision and strategies of the tourism sector up to year 2015 were formulated, and the specific priority programs and projects were identified based on the “Master Plan on National Tourism Development in Mongolia”, which was developed with assistance of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Government initiates a broader range of measures and promises to provide a sufficient support to promote tourism industry in Mongolia. Therefore, the Government Action Plan for 2004-2008 and Basic Guidelines for Socio-economic Development have included a specific set of measures for promoting tourism and implementing
The Tourism Law of Mongolia was enacted in May 5, 2000 for the first time since Mongolia shifted to the market oriented economy. Its purpose is to regulate all relationships between state, private citizens and economic entities engaged in tourism business. The law outlines definition for tourism, responsibilities and obligations of the state, tourism organizations, structure, rights and responsibilities of state administrative and governing organizations for tourism sector, arrangements for development of tourism related infrastructure and penalties in case of violation of this law. An also creates a favorable legal environment for further development of tourism sector. The tax exemptions and deductions entitled to export goods production, have, similarly, applied to the tourism sector, providing favorable investment conditions. More information can be obtained through the Ministry of Road, Transport and Tourism and Mongolian Tourism Board.
Entry filed under: Tourism sector.