The National Statistical Office (NSO) reports that Mongolia received 154,533 foreign visitors in the first half of this year, which is a decrease of 8.5 percent from last year’s data.
However, the number of visitors from North Korea, the Russian Federation, Poland, and Taiwan are up 0.6 to 8.8 percent. In a World Economic Forum study that shows tourism competitiveness around the world, Mongolia ranked 99 out of 140 countries, and 19th in Asia out of 25 countries.
In the first half of this year, 936,000,000 citizens and foreigners crossed the Mongolian border. More than 44 percent crossed the Zamiin-Uudborder port by rail and automobile, and 17.7 percent crossed the Buyant-Ukhaa port by airplane. The number of people who crossed the border is down 2.1 percent, compared to 2011.
Before Naadam, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and TourismP.Altangerel said, “We are actualizing new policy in the tourism sector. Thanks to this policy, the number of tourists to Mongolia will reach one million by 2017.”
The results of the NSO study shows that, on average, a foreign visitor who comes to Mongolia spends 170,000 to 190,000 MNT, around 100 USD a day.
To attract more tourists, Mongolia needs better quality roads, renovate its entertainment centers and cultural exhibits, facilitate visa-free travel and more. Mongolia is the land of dinosaurs and has a rich history, but tourism is still being poorly developed. Experts say that the main reasons for the slow development of tourism are an inhospitable nation and bad infrastructure.
Some visitors to Mongolia point out that there are many nationalists in Mongolia, and some foreigners feel threatened. “If you face that kind of problem, no one will help you,” said one visitor.
The tourism industry generates 1.8 trillion USD worldwide. Every year Mongolia makes 200 to 300 million USD from tourism, which is significantly less than other countries.
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