KHARKHORIN, Mongolia, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Central Mongolian province Uvurkhangai is trying to boost tourism to promote the local economy and improve the residents' quality of life.
"Silk Road-Kharkhorum," a three-day tourism festival held in the province's Kharkhorin soum starting on Monday, aims to provide jobs, generate income to locals and promote the province's economic growth through an increasing the number of foreign tourists, said Ishdorj Dorjsuren, vice-governor of the central Mongolian Uvurkhangai, at the opening ceremony.
Many activities including the ritual Tsam mask dance, cultural performance called "Descendants of Great Kings", traditional Mongolian cuisine event, exhibition of historical books and scripture, and archery on horseback performance are being held at the annual festival was launched in 2017.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Uvurkhangai has been on the rise in recent years thanks to various historical and cultural events, Dorjsuren said, noting that the province attracted a total of around 55,000 foreign tourists, up nearly 30 percent compared with that of 2017.
"My wife is Mongolian. This is the first time I have been in my wife's homeland. Mongolia has many beautiful places to discover," Humair Francesco, a Switzerland tourist, told Xinhua during the festival.
"I love fishing. There are many rivers and lakes with many different types of fish species in the country," he added.
Uvurkhangai is rich in cultural heritage, namely the country's ancient capital Kharkhorin, and Orkhon Valley, a world heritage site of UNESCO, etc.
Kharkhorin is said to be one of the most important routes in the history of the ancient Silk Road.
In an effort to boost tourism, Uvurkhangai plans to organize two tourism events, felt festival and yak festival in late July, said the vice-governor.