Opportunities of Tourism Development of Mongolia Under the Belt and Road Initiative

Opportunities of Tourism Development of Mongolia Under the Belt and Road Initiative

Huilian Han (Jilin University, China) and Hui Li (Jilin University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8440-7.ch012
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The Belt and Road Initiative has had great impact on the countries on the road. The China-Mongolia-Russia corridor, as one of the six economic corridors, has seen rapid progress. In the progress, Mongolia not only plays important role as a bridge, but it actively participates in the initiative. As a leading industry, tourism has played an active role in Sino-Mongolian cultural exchanges and trade cooperation and has become a pillar industry in Mongolia. This chapter analyzes the limiting factors of Mongolian tourism and points out the new opportunities for tourism brought by the Belt and Road strategy. Though the analysis of the tourism industry in Mongolia and of the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative, the chapter has important practical significance for the investors of China and Mongolia to correctly understand the Mongolian tourism industry's development status and prospects. Thus, they will strengthen the tourism industry cooperation in the future.
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Status Of Tourism Development In Mongolia

Mongolian Tourism Development Stage

Mongolia is located in the central part of Asia, and adjacent to China and Russia. Mongolia has 15665 million square kilometers, and is divided into 21 provinces and one municipality, 342 Soum and 1681 bagg. The total population of Mongolia reached 3.1209 million at the end of 2016. After the transition of Mongolia's economy, Mongolian exported mineral resources to promote economic development, but the development of tourism was lagging behind. Mongolia is rich in tourism resources, but mineral development contributes more to the national GDP than other industries. In 2016, the mining output value was 4808.5 billion Mongolian tugrug, accounted for 20% of GDP, while the tourism revenue was 247.1 billion Mongolian tugrug, accounted for only 1% of GDP. Therefore, Mongolia still attaches great importance to mineral development and ignores the development of tourism. Besides, the backward infrastructure is also an important factor hindering the development of tourism in Mongolia.

According to the economic system, the development of Mongolian tourism can be divided into two stages: tourism of the planned economy and the market economy period. On the basis of the development stage of tourism is divided into initial stage, development stage and stable development stage. Tourism in Mongolia is now in the early stages of the development of tourism. In the planned economy period, the Ministry of Commerce of Mongolia set up the “Tourist Customer Service Bureau” to begin receive foreign tourists. In 1990 the Mongolian tourism market formed and developed. With the Mongolian economy entering the transition period, the tourism industry turned to the market, began to operate independently, and got good development. The Mongolian Tourist Association was established in 1992, and 125 enterprises have joined the association since then. The Mongolian government headed by Prime Minister Ponzag Zaseri in 1995 promulgated the first file which concerned about the development of tourism, “Mongolia Tourism Development Plan 1995-2005” on No.167 Decision, then established the tourism agency under the basis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In 1996, the tourism industry was under the jurisdiction of the former Ministry of Infrastructure Development; In 1998, the government confirmed No.192 Decision to determine the Mongolian Resolution on Formulating and Developing Tourism Policies. In the same year, the government adopted the No. 214 resolution in response to the development of tourism, and established the Mongolian Tourist Information Center. In 1999, Mongolia joined the World Tourism Organization. In 2004, l “Tourism Information Center” was abolished, then was established Ministry of Road Transport and Tourism. After the reorganization of government agencies in 2008, Tourism Management Agencies were assigned to the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism. In May, 2000, the state of Mongolia issued the first travel law, the Tourism Law of the Mongolia. Mongolia's Great Hural made the 2016-2030 Economic Development Vision Plan, which centered on the nomadic culture, actively participate in the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and develop the “Tea Road”. This showed Mongolia's determination to accelerate the development of tourism in the market economy system.

Although Mongolia's tourism industry has entered the market economy period, Mongolia has proposed relevant policy, resolutions and laws, and established relevant supporting departments. However, the development of tourism has not received enough attention under the background of mining-based economy. Tourism development in Mongolia is still in its early stages.

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