KHANKHONGOR, Mongolia, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia held an annual event promoting the lifestyle of nomadic herders in Khankhongor soum of southern Mongolia's Umnugovi province on Saturday as a way to boost its tourism sector.
"The Mongolian government and local governments have been striving to develop the tourism sector to promote the country's economic growth," Danzankhuu Myadagsuren, director of the Herder's Association of Umnugovi province, told Xinhua during the event. "We are organizing this event for the fourth year in a row to contribute to the development of the country's tourism sector."
"Mongolia is home to one of the world's last surviving nomadic lifestyles and traditions. So, we have a great chance to attract foreign tourists by promoting this valuable heritage of Mongolian nomads," said Myadagsuren.
The tourism event consisted of various activities related to the daily life of Mongolian nomadic herders such as milking goats, camels and mares, catching a horse with a lasso, youth wrestling and archery competitions.
"This is the first time I have been in Mongolia or the Gobi desert ... my trip in the country is so amazing," Tomo Onishi, a Japanese tourist, told Xinhua during the event.
Mongolia has been promoting the development of its tourism sector in a bid to diversify its mining-dependent economy, and has set itself the goal of receiving one million foreign tourists and earning one billion U.S. dollars from tourism in 2020.
The country attracted a total of 529,370 foreign tourists in 2018, up some 11 percent from the previous year, according to the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Tourism.