Tourism in Mongolia
Tourism in Mongolia was extremely limited by the Communist Government, but has been expanding following the 1990 Democratic Revolution in Mongolia in the wake of the collapse of the USSR and the Revolutions of 1989. Mongolia is a unique and relatively unexplored travel destination that offers a great combination of scenic natural features, a wide variety of untouched landscapes, nomadic life style and culture. Travel organizations in Mongolia date back to half a century ago, but the private sector-based tourism is barely twenty years old. Now Mongolia boasts 403 travel companies, 320 hotels, 317 resorts and tourist camps, all employing the graduates from over 56 educational establishments. Mongolia takes an active part in United Nations World Tourism Organization, of which is a member party.
To boost foreign investment in tourism, the Government of Mongolia offers special tax exemption equaling up to 10 percent of the total investment if offered for construction of high-rated hotels and tourist complexes. Licenses for tourism business were abolished and service provided by tour operators for expatriate visitors is now exempt from VAT. Standards and regulations are largely non-restrictive, with no complicated layers of bureaucracy issuing permission and exercising control.
A vivid example of the successful reform of the legal framework is the progressive increase of the number of visitors – the number reaching 450,000 in 2010 - tripling the 2000 estimate. With one of the world's lowest population densities, the vastness of the Mongolian-Manchurian grassland, desert, as well as the numerous mountains, rivers and lakes offer plenty of adventure. Although backpacking is becoming more common, travel outside Ulanbataar is mostly arranged by tour operator companies.
In January 2013, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia approved official slogan for Mongolia's tourism called “Go Nomadic, Experience Mongolia” which, it believes, will properly position help boost tourism industry in Mongolia. However, after a year the Ministry replaced the official slogan to new "Mongolia - Nomadic by Nature.
On March 5th, 2014 during ITB Berlin 2014 exhibition in Germany, officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia signed an agreement to become official partner country for ITB Berlin 2015.
The Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia has been restructured into the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism in December, 2014 as a result of country's government cabinet change.
Activity travels available include trekking, climbing, bird watching, horse riding, rafting, camel riding, yak caravan and overland motorcycle tours. Many of these tours focus strongly on ecology and wildlife, and almost all of them include the Gobi Desert as one of their destinations; apart from its numerous native animal species, the desert is famous for its fossilised dinosaur bones and eggs. Mongolia's lakes represent another good hiking destination, as do the Four Holy Peaks surrounding Ulaanbaatar or the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, in the Umnugobi. The economy of Mongolia is expecting "unstoppable" growth as its natural resources are tapped, which will enable further investment in infrastructure.
Most visitors arriving to Mongolia on short term basis were from the following countries of nationality:
|Source: Ulaanbaatar Tourism Department|
The main festival is world-famous Naadam, which has been organised for centuries and is held on July 11 to July 13 in honor of the Democratic Revolution. Naadam consists of three Mongolian traditional sports: archery, long-distance horse-racing, and Mongolian wrestling. In 2013, The Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia published Mongolia Tourism Calendar of Events 2013, in which the Ministry collected all public events related to Mongolian tourism and culture. Many events included in the calendar, which is also available for download online, are repeat events.
Other events include:
- Miss Mongolia - beauty pageant to select the country's Miss World candidate
- Eagle festival - in Bayan-Ölgii, hunters use trained eagles to catch small prey, plus Kazakh horse games
- Nowruz - in Ölgii, Kazakh New Years parade, concert, and feast
- Tsagaan Sar - Lunar New Year festival held throughout Mongolia
- Camel Festival - Mongolian winter tourism festival held in Umnugobi province
- Ice festival - Winter tourism event held at scenic Khuvsgul lake
- Goyol Fashion Festival
Hotels and resorts
Hotels in Ulaanbaatar
- Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar
- Hotel Mongolia
- Sky Resort
- Ramada Ulaanbaatar City Center
- Holiday Inn Ulaanbaatar (opening in 2016)
- Chinggis Khaan Hotel
- Tuushin Hotel
- Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace
- Ulaanbaatar Hotel
- Bayangol Hotel
- Puma - Imperial Hotel
- S Resort
- Corporate Hotel
Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar is the major international airport in the country, offering scheduled flights to and from Russia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Germany and Turkey.
- MIAT Mongolian Airlines is the national flag air carrier and serves only international destinations such as Moscow, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Busan, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka (operated during summer time) and chartered flights.
- Hunnu Air (former Mongolian Airlines Group), founded in 2011, flies both domestically and internationally (Shanghai - (temporary discontinued as of October 2013) and Manzhouli).
- Domestic destinations within Mongolia are also served by Aero Mongolia and EZNis Airways (halted its operation ), which offers two short-haul international flights: to cities of Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude of Russia and to Hohhot, Erenhot and Hailaar of China.
- National Museum of Mongolian History
- Visa policy of Mongolia
- Mongolian cuisine
- Geography of Mongolia
- Climate of Mongolia
- Trans-Siberian Railway
- List of museums in Mongolia
- Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, Mongolia
- Mongolian travel directory
- "Official Tourism slogan".
- "Mongolian Tourism Ministry replaces slogan with new one in February 2014".
- "Mongolian to participate as partner country for ITB Berlin 2015".
- "New Minister of Mongolian Tourism Appointed".
- Mongolian Travel Directory
- "Mongolian Wolf to Be 'Unstoppable'". Moscow Times / Reuters.
- "Statistics of Tourists to Mongolia" (PDF). Нийслэлийн Аялал. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- Mongolia Tourism 2013 Calendar of Events is published
- EZnis Airways halts its operation
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mongolia.|
- Bigges Tourism Information Website of Mongolia
- Official Tourism Website of Mongolia
- Official Tourism Website of Bayan-Ölgii, Mongolia
- Travel and Tourism Related News of Mongolia in English
- Official Tourism Website of Mongolia Samar Magic Tours