Tourism in Mongolia | History & Facts About Mongolia Tourism 2020
Despite being beautiful and safe why Mongolia is less visited by tourists as compared to other destinations? This question is asked very often by travelers who are interested in exploring new places.
Answer to this question is simple, due to government policies and less interest of the government towards tourism till 1990. But now the situation is different, the government policies and other elements are now in favor of tourism in Mongolia and the tourism business is rapidly increasing year after year.
Before you plan to visit Mongolia it is ideal to know a little about tourism in Mongolia. So we have compiled some facts and figures related to tourism in Mongolia.
A Little About the Land of Mongolia:
The country`s name Mongolia is from Latin origin which means the "Land of the Mongols". The term Mongol has no specific meaning but most of the Mongolians believe it was given over the name of mountain range present in Mongolia.
Mongolia country is located in East Asia connecting China in the south and Russia in the north. Kazakhstan is only 37 kilometers away but Mongolia doesn’t share a border with it. It is a landlocked country which means Mongolia is not connected to any ocean.
The land area of Mongolia is 1,564,116 square kilometers which makes it the 18th largest state and second-largest landlocked country in the world. Most of the land area is covered by grassy steppe and very small parts of the land area used for agriculture purposes.
From north to the west there are mountain ranges and south is covered with Gobi Desert.
As compared to land size the country is not much populated; the Mongolia population is only around three million. Almost 45% of the population lives in Ulaanbaatar which is the capital and largest city of Mongolia.
Historical Formation Of Mongolia:
Various nomadic empires including the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Rouran, Turkic Khaganate have ruled in Mongolia. Genghis Khan established the Mongol Empire in 1206 and ruled for several years. Kublai Khan who was the grandson of Genghis Khan conquered China and established the Yuan Dynasty.
After the Yuan Dynasty fall, Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan ruled the country. During the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism started to spread in Mongolia which played a role in establishing the Qing dynasty. After the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the independence movement started in Mongolia and in the land of Mongolia was declared an independent state. But actual independence from China happened in 1921.
In 1924, the socialist government by the Mongolian People's Republic was founded. Later by 1989 anti-communist revolutions started which led to the 1990`s peaceful democratic revolution. In 1992 democratic system was officially introduced and on the basis of multiple party systems, a new constitution was set to control and manage the country affairs. This was the time when Mongolia market economy focused over-tourism and new reforms started to establish in the country to promote tourism in Mongolia
Ethnic Groups and Tourism in Mongolia:
Tourism in Mongolia is known for its unique and genuine experience of nomadic lifestyle. Almost 30% of Mongolians are nomadic or semi-nomadic. The majority population in Mongolia are Buddhists. The second largest group is of the non-religious population and Kazakhs follow Islam as their religion. So tourism in Mongolia allows you to experience three different lifestyle patterns at once.
Secondly, some regions in Mongolia are very influenced by Chinese culture and food and some regions are more towards Russian culture. You will see a mix during your Mongolia tour but one thing is common among all; they strictly stay connected with centuries-old Mongolian Culture.
The majority of citizens belong to Mongol ethnicity, next to them are Kazakhs and Tuvans minorities and very less population or other ethnic groups.
Another very attractive feature of tourism in Mongolia is the Horse culture. There are almost 3 million horses of the top breed, there are extremely beautiful and strong.
Facts about Tourism in Mongolia:
During the period of socialist government trade and tourism in Mongolia were very limited. People were relying only on livestock and internal trade. Tourists and traders were completely unaware of the scenic natural landscapes and the super exciting culture of Mongolia.
During the period of the USSR collapse, Democratic Revolution in Mongolia gave the country a big boost and the traders started to see Mongolia as a trade and travel route to China, Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries nearby. The Revolutions of 1989 Mongolia became a completely sovereign and democratic state which caused allowed the people to safely travel to and from Mongolia.
Travel organizations in Mongolia are not very old, especially the private sector linked with tourism in Mongolia is very young. You can say tourism in Mongolia and travel organizations were developed half-century ago whereas tourism in Mongolia by the private sector developed almost 20 years ago. So most of the companies working in Mongolia were developed barely ten to fifteen years back.
According to statistical data of 2018, there are 403 registered travel companies which provide all kind of facilities to foreign visitors. For accommodation, the country has 320 hotels plus 647 resorts and tourist camps. These hotels and resorts include the most luxurious to cost-effective accommodation facilities.
You might think that tourism in Mongolia is catered by locals and might not offer you quality services but no this is not reality. The employees working in tourism sectors including hotels, transportation facilities, ticketing, and Mongolia tourism companies hold at least a bachelor’s degree from 56 top-notch educational establishments. Moreover, Mongolia is an active member party of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
So tourism in Mongolia is in experienced hands that’s why the quality and services promised to you are also served in Mongolia and in case of an odd situation, you can easily launch a complaint and get compensation.
Government Policies in Favor of Mongolia Tourism:
To elevate the graph of trade and tourism in Mongolia, the government offers special tax exemption. The rage of tax exemption is up to 10 percent of the total investment amount for the construction of high-rated hotels and tourist complexes.
Another favorable policy linked to business and tourism in Mongolia is the abolishment of Licenses for tourism business and all the services for expatriate visitors by agencies working for tourism in Mongolia are now exempt from VAT. There are no strict standards and regulations to start tourism activities in the country and no issues of dealing with bureaucracy for permissions and exercising control.
All these policies have tripled the revenue generated by agencies for tourism in Mongolia and now the number of visitors is multiplying every year. By 2000 the number of visitors to Mongolia was less than 15 thousand. Within ten years the number of visitors got tripled and in 2010 Mongolia hosted almost 45 thousand visitors. Last year, in 2018, 598 thousand people visited Mongolia.
Tourism in Mongolia is well pattered to assure security and safety to all visitors. Ulaanbaatar, being the capital and biggest city receives all the visitors and Mongolia tourism companies to arrange facilities to travel outside the city.
The previous tourism in Mongolia slogan by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia was “Go Nomadic, Experience Mongolia.” In 2014 the official slogan was changed and now the new tourism in Mongolia slogan is “Mongolia - Nomadic by Nature.”
Tourism in Mongolia – Activities Offered:
You can explore the vast Mongolian-Manchurian grassland and Gobi desert. There are numerous mountains known for their beauty. The rivers and lakes of Mongolia offer a handful of adventures.
The activities offered by tourism in Mongolia include trekking, bird watching, climbing camel riding, horse riding, yak caravan, rafting, mountain cycling, and overland motorcycle tours. tourism in Mongolia revolves around ecology and wildlife mostly. Almost all Mongolia tourism plans include Gobi Desert where you can see numerous native animal species. Tourism in Mongolia is incomplete without the Gobi desert which is also popular among tourists for fossilized dinosaur bones and eggs.
Tourism in Mongolia also means meeting various animals and their best breeds. You can see native tigers, gazelles, snow leopards, argali, yak, Saiga antelopes, Mongolian wild ass, Przewalski's horse, Mongolian horse, Gobi bear, Altai snowcock, Steppe lemming, Tarbagan marmot, Pallas's pika, Relict gull, etc.
You can also go to museums to have a glimpse of past dynasties, royal lifestyle, centuries-old Mongolian culture, remains of Genghis army, etc. Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, National Museum of Mongolia, Central Museum of Mongolia, The Fine Arts Zanabazaar Museum, Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Mongolian Military Museum, Mongol Costumes Museum, Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Persecution, Kharakhorum Museum, Hunting Museum and many more are here to fascinate you.
FAQs about Mongolia tourism:
Is hotel reservations easy and cost-effective in Mongolia?
There are plenty of fine hotels and resorts in Mongolia which you can book online or on call. Through our website, you can connect to all top-notch as well as cost-effective accommodation facilities just on click. Booking through our website means you are linked with registered service providers only and in case of an odd situation you will get compensation.
Are the museums and festival entry free in Mongolia?
Most of the museums charge from zero to 5 dollars. The passes are not much expensive and it is not complicated to get your pass. Most of the museums and galleries have entry desk from where you can get your passes on spot. You can also book your passes in advance online through our website.
The festival celebrations are mostly for all public and free. Only mega-events have entry fees depending upon the nature of the event. The entry cost does not exceed 15 dollars in most cases.