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Strategie turistiky v Mongolsku

Strategie turistiky v Mongolsku - obrázek

Strategie turistiky v Mongolsku - obrázek

With the hot and warm season coming up, the number of tourists will increase in Mongolia. But in the past years, unsatisfied tourists have been increasing and specialists explain that this is due to the economic recession. The following is an interview with Ts. Narantuya, the Deputy Director of the Tourism Department at the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism about the preparation for the incoming tourists and the current development strategy for the tourism sector, by Ts. Narantuya. More...
-The warm months are approaching and the tourist season is about to begin in Mongolia. How is the preparation work for receiving the tourists going?
-I believe that we have sufficiently prepared for tourists this year. One example can be seen from the organization of the last month’s National Conference on Tourism, “The 21st Century”. During the conference, we effectively discussed future tourism programs, tourist safety and difficulties faced by the industry.
Then we organized an open exhibition, resulting in over 100 tourism companies in Mongolia having made contracts with foreign tourists to arrive in Mongolia this year. During these annual exhibitions, tourists are able to obtain information on hotels, tourist camps and complexes, tourist routes and miscellaneous tourism services. Even tourist camps have essentially finished with preparation work, and nearly all of them will be fully operational by the end of this month.

-How many tourists are estimated to arrive this year?
-Currently, we have received 60,000 tourists; we do not yet have any other in-depth statistics on them. Generally, in the past few years the tourist season is beginning earlier than expected. Previously, mass tourist arrival was expected in June and July. Aiming to expand the tourist numbers and origins, besides organizing ice, camel, yak and eagle celebrations and festivals, we have begun to organize the sun glimpse celebration during Tsagaan Sar (Lunar Month Holidays).
-The above celebrations and festivals must have required a lot of marketing and advertising, how have you done this?
-We use every possible method of advertising. A simple example would be distributing information through respective Embassies. There are permanent tourists that come every year to be a part of the above mentioned festivals and celebrations. In the past years, not only foreigner tourists but Mongolians themselves have had much interest in these events.
Additional events and festivals are scheduled to take place during this year’s tourist season.
-This year is the 850th Anniversary of Chingis Khan’s birth, and foreign tourists will be arriving in Mongolia specifically for this occasion. What special surprises will be waiting for them here?
-The most important one is the “Through the Footsteps of Chingis Khan” tourist destination and route, covering both domestic and foreign tourists. For the 850th anniversary of the Khan, a discussion in Khentii Province took place on May 2nd. We discussed historical sites that are connected with Chingis Khan’s life, and how to advertise those sites. A rough outline of the tourist destination and route was also developed.
-In the past years, it is rumored that the number of tourists has decreased in Mongolia. What was the reason for this?
-Well, that rumor is not true, the number of tourists never decreased. Well, it slightly decreased in 2009 because of the world economic recession. But in the past three years, it increased by 12.4%. This is a relatively a good sign. The tourism sector makes up 4% of the total GDP. The sector brings in USD 282 million profit to the nation. As for us, we have been discussing a long term strategy for getting the number of tourists in Mongolia to one million by 2015.
Tourists from Asia and Pacific countries are rapidly increasing. With the increasing numbers of tourists, we have been taking additional actions in our strategy. These include the abandonment of the “tourist season” idea and welcoming tourists during anytime of the year with interesting sights and events and have tourist camps and complexes working and providing services during winter months.
-How much feedback does Mongolia get on its tourism services from tourists, especially on tourist guides?
-Private companies prepare and train their own guides. This is because they create their own tourist route and because of that, the routes require different skills and knowledge. Thus, we cannot set a specific standard on tourist guides at this time.
Previously, the Mongolia Tourism Center ranked tourist guides but this has since been stopped.
It seems that tourist companies do not provide satisfactory safety and security for its tourists. Have there been events where a tourists’ safety was threatened, or the tourist was otherwise attacked?
It is easier for teams and organizations to provide security for its customers. But for tourists that are alone with no connections to tourist companies, it is rather difficult to ensure their safety. When we are talking about safety, we are not just talking about thieving, robbery or sudden assault. Safe food, drink, road and guaranteed transport should also be considered among many other thingss.
Mainly, tourists that are on their own, travelling in pairs or alone have the tendency to become victims of the above mentioned crimes. But compared to other countries, the crime rate on tourists is relatively low in Mongolia.
-What difficulties does the tourism sector face?
-Because the infrastructure of the whole nation is not so great, we face a lot of difficulties. It is still the same today. We want to take tourists all around the country for some sightseeing but you know how the roads are. Although some roads are fixed, rebuilt or built anew, we still cannot transport them with a high safety level.
-Lately, there have been many new tourist camps, complexes and hotels built in Mongolia. What standards must they fulfill and uphold? Do we have many running that have the correct standards?
-There are 375 hotels in Mongolia. From those, around 60 of them have official hotel star ratings from one to five. Before, the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism issued the star ratings but beginning from last year the Mongolia Tourism Center is issuing the ratings. Currently Mongolia has two five-star hotels, three four-star hotels, 21 three-star hotels and the rest have one or two stars.
This year, many new hotels in rural areas and countryside have sent their request for star rankings. This is because of increased tourists in Mongolia, and hotels like to be ranked.
As for tourist camps and complexes, there are a total of around 390 of them in operation. Most of them are sensitive to seasons. Tourist camps that are constantly in operation are relatively few, as there are many difficulties in receiving tourists during the winter time. But we are prioritizing star levels and ranks on full-time operational tourist camps and complexes.
-If a new hotel requests a star ranking, is it just given to them in the following days?
-No, it is not as straightforward as that. They will have to run their operation for two full years to have the right and be eligible to request star rankings. They also have to make sure that throughout the two years of operation they must have no law or policy infringements, in short, they must not cause trouble.
-Tourists are increasing annually, and there were complaints that the tourist sites and sightseeing places are the same old ones and are never updated. So what has been done to renew any of the sites?
-We are making renovations to several main tourist sites in Mongolia. The general strategy we have is to update and improve the larger, more prominent sites. This could be a good method of attracting tourists.
-Mongolian tourist destinations are somewhat limited, and most of the best sites in Mongolia that represent human history and ancient people are located in western part of Mongolia. But bad roads and the high cost of travelling makes tourists avoid the western part of Mongolia. What is being done to improve this?
-A central tourist destination of western Mongolia is to be located in Khovd Province. This is a part of the National Program on Expansion of Tourism. Once the central tourist destination is built there, it will be much easier to access the old, ancient sites and also easier to advertise and present them.
The strategy includes building an airport in Khovd Province, building star-level ranked hotels and reducing the cost of travel there. Once the strategy is in full swing and tourists begin travelling to the west of Mongolia, it will be so much easier for them to be introduced and exposed to the cultures of prehistoric Mongols and other ethnic groups that lived there. This will enable everyone to travel through rare historical findings and discoveries.
We have also done research on building tourist lodgings in western Provinces; and all of them will be of world-class standards. Expansion to the west of Mongolia will greatly increase the number of tourists. We have currently located and agreed on the Provinces in which the lodgings will be built. From our research, we saw that a trip to the west of Mongolia could be done without the amount of exhaustion as we have today. Generally, we believe that the culture and lifestyle of the people in western Mongolia will attract the interests of many. We will also be building a paleontology center and a national park in UmnuGobi (SouthGobi) Province.
In Khuvsgul Province, we are planning and holding a strategy to build a large ice tourism destination.
All this will be built by the private sector with assistance from the Government and a strategy provided from the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism. But we must remember, for all this to come true, transportation routes should be improved beforehand.
-Tourists from which country dominate the tourist population in Mongolia?
-The majority of tourists consist of people from the People’s Republic of China. Tourists from Russia, Korea, Japan and the US are high in numbers too, right behind China. Here I would like to note that tourists from the US are increasing at a faster rate than any other nation.
Also, Japanese tourists have been increasing rapidly too, it is probably due to fact that Japanese citizens can enter Mongolia without a visa. Most of the tourists from Japan come here to visit places relating to Chingis Khan.

Source: UB Post

08.04.2013 14:35:14
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