Mongolia Promotes Eco and Cultural Tourism at 2021 International Travel Mart

From 28- 30 October, 22-year-old 'International Travel Mart (ITM) 2021 was held at the Misheel Expo in Ulaanbaatar.  This year’s agenda for the ITM, organized by the Mongolian Tourism Associate, was “TOURISM FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH.”   

An important event for both public and private sectors, the ITM serves as a platform to share tourism products and services with the general public and inspire future travels. While the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is the main organizer of the ITM, other government agencies such as the Ulaanbaatar City Municipal Government, National Immigration Bureau support the ITM along with the private sector. The “Ger and Nature” scheme  — part of PAGE’s green recovery support to Mongolia — was presented to the public during the second day of the event.  

As part of the green recovery efforts of Mongolia, the PAGE initiative works with the Government and key stakeholders to promote community-based eco and cultural tourism in which rural herding communities, as custodians of nomadic lifestyle and culture, will be the main beneficiaries. A ‘’Ger and Nature’’ (G&N) scheme is being proposed, whereby individual community groups will become hosts to cultural and adventure tourists by linking through innovative technology, leveraging private sector collaboration and investment, putting in place respective standards, certification and quality assurance processes and providing targeted capacity-building opportunities to respective actors in the G&N schemes. 

The Action Plan of the Government of Mongolia for 2020-2024 sets a major goal to develop the tourism sector as a leading sector of the economy, away from the mining sector. But, due to the pandemic, sectors including tourism and air transport, are suffering. In the last two years, Mongolia has seen a decline in the number of tourists and tourism revenues by more than 90 percent. 

 To overcome this challenge, the country developed a short-term recovery plan and prepare to receive tourists in the coming year and MET has initiated a post-pandemic tourism recovery strategy and established a multi-stakeholder working group for tourism.