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 From left to right: Prof. Alastair M. Morrison, ITSA President; Boldbaatar Sanjsuren, MNTA President; Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism; Prof. Bihu Wu, ITSA Secretary-General)

On January 30, 2013 in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, ITSA signed a long-term cooperative agreement with the Mongolia National Tourism Association (MNTA). The agreement includes co-organizing an international conference in Ulaanbaatar in October 2013 with the theme, New Frontiers for Tourism: Potentials and Challenges of Emerging Tourism Destinations. The main expected outcome of this conference is a set of practical recommendations for expanding Mongolia’s inbound tourism for the next 10-20 years within a sustainable tourism development framework.

In order to increase inbound international tourism both sides will focus on ecotourism and other forms of sustainable and special-interest tourism development. High- end or up-market customers and travel trade companies will be the target for these development and marketing efforts.

Mongolia is a unique and relatively unexplored travel destination that offers a great combination of scenic natural features, a wide variety of untouched landscapes, nomadic life style and culture. ITSA and NMTA will maintain a focus on the importance of sustaining these unique resources for future generations, while also realizing Mongolia’s largely untapped potential for inbound international tourism. ITSA’s participation will benefit Mongolia’s international tourism marketing by using its various international communication channels to promote the country’s tourism around the world.

With its strong academic and professional background, ITSA will work with MNTA, universities and other education and training institutions in Mongolia to enhance the knowledge, skills, and professionalism in the country’s tourism industry.

Prof. Alastair M. Morrison, the ITSA President, had this to say about the ITSA- MNTA MOU, “ITSA is delighted to have this opportunity to play a significant role in the development and marketing of Mongolia’s international tourism. Despite Mongolia’s undoubted tourism potential, it has up to this point been neglected by major international tourism associations. ITSA feels very privileged to take an active role in enhancing Mongolia’s inbound tourism in collaboration with MNTA and other local partners.”