China ranks first in 2019 tourist numbers in Mongolia


File photo: VCG

ULAN BATOR, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China ranked first in terms of tourist numbers in Mongolia in 2019, a statistician at the Mongolian National Statistics Office said at a news conference Thursday.

Mongolia received a total of 577,300 foreign tourists in 2019, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, Nyamsuren Ulziikhand said, and "one-third, or 32.7 percent were Chinese tourists."

In 2019, 23 percent of the country's tourists were from Russia and 16.2 percent from South Korea, she said.

Currently, Mongolia's economy is largely dependent on export earnings from the mining sector. Developing the tourism sector is seen as the most reachable solution to diversify the country's mining-dependent economy.

The Asian country has set a goal of receiving 1 million foreign tourists and earning 1 billion U.S. dollars from tourism in 2020.