The rise of Mongolia

By | Category: Travel destinations
girls wearing Mongolian national dress greeting visitors in Berlin

girls wearing Mongolian national dress greeting visitors in Berlin

Not since Kublai and Genghis Khan swept before them centuries ago has Mongolia had such an impact on Europe.

Just sixteen years ago, the country decided to encourage tourism. Last year, 450,000 people visited the country. This year there will be even more because, apart from the big presence in London last November, the country has also been working with the other big international travel trade show, ITB, which is being held in Berlin this week. Unlike our November show, ITB is also open to consumers so over 100,000 people will visit the show and, at the entrance they are not only greeted by a very large yurt (Mongolian circular hut) but by colourfully clad musicians playing traditional Mongolian instruments and throat singing.

So successful has the partnership been, it is claimed, that a significant percentage of Germans would now consider a holiday in the country. But they have a direct link to the capital of Mongolia; the UK and Ireland have none so it might take a while before Brits start travelling there in their tens of thousands.

the yurt standing outside the entrance to ITB in Berlin which everyone had to pass

the yurt standing outside the entrance to ITB in Berlin which everyone had to pass

If we go then the tourist board is emphasising the nature of the nomadic people. The tourism minister implied that the country’s capital, Ulan Bator was not where people should go. They should delve into the country itself and see these nomadic herdsmen and the life they lead. They should see the rock art that is thousands of years old and, above all, the people.

By the end of this year the country is hoping for a million visitors and, as part of their continued promotional push, they are building a new airport for the capital which will be able to handle 3 million passengers a year. The way they are promoting who would bet against that airport reaching capacity within a decade?

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