Mongolia looks to tourism to diversify its economy
The President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, has pinpointed tourism as a means to diversify the Mongolian economy and outlined plans to increase international tourist arrivals to the country (Ulan Bator, Mongolia, 23 July 2012).
“Not only should we focus on our mining industry, which is booming, we should also diversify our country’s economy through sectors such as tourism,” said President Tsakhia.
The President further expressed his intention to boost tourism related infrastructure, raise public awareness of the importance of tourism and build “a dedicated and stronger administration for the sector”.
President Tsakhia made the remarks at a meeting with UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, who applauded the President’s recognition of tourism’s contribution to economic growth, job creation and development.
“Tourism is the oil that never runs out,” said Mr. Rifai. “While other economic sectors generate short and medium-term gains, tourism, when sustainably planned and managed, has proven to stimulate economies over the long-term.”
“By placing sustainable tourism higher in its national agenda, Mongolia looks set to continue benefiting from the income generated by visitors for years to come,” he added.
On the occasion of his visit, Mr. Rifai presented President Tsakhia with an Open Letter from UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the importance of tourism to global growth and development. The Letter calls on Heads of State and Government to prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its full potential.
Mr. David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: "Mongolia has a rich culture, offering a unique and powerful experience to travellers. Mongolia has truly arisen as a destination and I am delighted that the country's leadership fully recognises the importance of Travel & Tourism as a vehicle for job creation and sustainable economic growth. In 2011, the industry directly employed 34,500 jobs (3% of total employment) and sustained, both directly and indirectly, 9% of GDP in Mongolia. Long term growth forecasts are extremely positive with Travel & Tourism's contribution to the country's GDP set to rise by 6% per annum over the next ten years. With government support this figure could be boosted even further and today's acceptance of the Open Letter by President Tsakhia sends a strong signal of support to the Travel & Tourism industry, both within Mongolia and internationally."
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