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Rural Business and Tourism Development

Mercy Corps (MC) has supported the tourism industry through loan guarantee mechanism and technical advice and assistance, through the promotion of responsible tourism, and through support for multi-stakeholder partnerships in 2 pilot aimags, Arkhangai and Omnogobi, within the RASP and GI projects. In 2008 Mercy Corps signed a 12 month contract with Sustainable Tourism Development Centre Mongolia to develop responsible tourism initiatives. The program was implemented during 2009 and resulted in identification and prioritizing of several various activities to be implemented in various Mongolian aimags to further the development of the tourism industry as rural economic diversification and tool for sustainable development of natural resources.

Mercy Corps plans to continue it's involvement in the rural tourism sector in люongolia with an objective to stimulate economic activity diversification in aimags in which ample tourism development opportunities exist. Furthermore an objective of Mercy Corps is to increase market oportunities for rural agribusiness to serve as a suply base for commodities and finished products that tourism operators need.

Objectives:

The main objective of this project is:

- To improve the competitiveness of tourism industry in Arkhangai, Uvurkhangai, Umnugobi, Zavhan, Khovd, Gobi Sumber and Suhbaatar aimags and strengthen links in supply chain with rural agri businesses.

Specific objectives of the project are:

Business development

- To establish 10 tourism businesses linked to herders and herder groups

- To help to establish a tour operator in 2 aimags.

- To help 5 existing business to improve through additional investment

Market linkage

- Assist linkage of 10 rural agribusinesses with aimag tourist operators to act as sustainable suppliers of goods and services

- Assist aimag tourism businesses to improve market access to UB tour operators and international markets

- Assist the development of websites for international tourists in 2 aimags

Business environment

- Improve local Business Development Service Providers capacity to suport rural tourism operators in business development and offer facilitation and consulting services for improved service, investment attraction, marketing and sales.

- Assist aimag capacity and activities towards creating favorable tourism business environment by strategic economic development planning.

- Support the refining of the soum economic development plans in order to further develop the tourism industry in three soums.

Natural Resource Management

- To develop contribution of tourism to sustainable natural resource management

- To develop tourism products based on sustainable natural resource management e.g. Cave

- To develop pilot soum protected area improving soum tourism development and Sustainable NRM

Target groups:

Existing agri and herder groups, businesses of selected aimags (Arkhangai, Uvurkhangai, Zavkhan, Khovd, Umnugobi, Sukhbaatar, Gobisumber)

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