Khuvsgul Province is considered as the lynchpin of Mongolian tourism. Last year, it was connected to Ulaanbaatar with a modern new road, as a result of which the numbers of domestic and foreign tourists to Lake Khuvsgul dramatically increased. Even though, the number of tourists has significantly risen, the benefits to the native people of the region have not improved at all; of all 21 provinces, Khuvsgul is still in 2nd place and in terms of poverty and unemployment is double the national average (7.9%).
Therefore, parallel to developing tourism in Khuvsgul, improving the living standards of the local population is also required. Subsequently, on 26th January, a Japanese grant aid project “Improving the Living Standards in Khuvsgul and to Develop Sustainable Tourism” was signed. Japan is providing USD 3 million to finance the project.
The project will be implemented in three areas: firstly, developing a Khuvsgul tourism zone; secondly, creating a united management structure to iradicate pollution and to protect the environment and, thirdly, improving the standard of living of the people who live beside the lake. As a first step, baseline research will be conducted to study local living standards and possible business ideas. Based on this study, a Khuvsgul public micro-credit venture fund will be established. This will enable the people of Khuvsgul who have good ideas to take loans and launch their own businesses.
In addition, the project will support the development of a unique brand which incorporates the special characteristics of Khuvsgul. The project will continue for 4 years. The project management team considers that the first results of the project will be seen after a year.