HNP is extraordinary because of it’s natural diversity. From forest steppe, grassland steppe and sand dunes to it’s rich biodiversity’s and cultural monuments. The reintroduction of the takhi attracts tourists from more than 25 different countries. Eco-tourism is expected to be a fundamental financial source for the sustainable development of the park in the future. The Hustai visitor center focuses on eco-tourism, showing it is positive and protective to the flora and faunca in the HNP. The Hustai tourist camp has 35 gers (accommodation), a restaurant, bakery shop and sport field. According to the resort standard assessment of MNET, Hustai camp is rated as a two-flower tourist resort and can serve 100 tourists at the same time every day. There is also the Moilt camp which is able to serve 20 tourists. Tourists and visitors can enjoy the typical Mongolian nature scenery of forest steppe, grasslands, mountains, wild animals, red deer, Mongolian gazelles, camels, yaks, marmots and of course harems of the takhi. In modern times, community based tourism is developing rapidly especially in comparison to the traditional customs of nomads in Mongolia. The Hustai tourist camp receives between 15000-17000 foreign tourists and 10000 national visitors a year.
There are many special reasons and great purposes to developing and encouraging eco-tourism in Hustai National Park. The financial contribution from tourism is important because it’s not from a single company or personal/family financial source, it continues with every visitor. 100% of that contribution is used for nature conservation. That means, anyone who paid to receive the eco-tourism service (a tour company, tour guides and travellers) can participate the nature conservation. Below are the unique reasons to develop eco-tourism in Hustai:
1. The reintroducing of the Takhi in the wild was the fundamental reason for establishing the park. We protected this area in order to create the peaceful and beneficial habitat that is need for the Takhi.
2. The population of other wild animals increased following the newly established peaceful and stable habitats in Hustai National Park. Particularly, red deer which had a population of only 50 in 1992, now there are 1300. Other wild animals have also increased, 9000 marmots have been counted in 1992, now there are over 20 thousand, since 2003, Argali sheep moved into the park’s stable and peaceful borders.
3. Hustai is the best enviroment to protect and conserve wild animals. This means, we must obtain a permanent financial source to support our conservation activities. The FRPH and the Government of the Netherlands funded Hustai between 1992-2012. It was eco-tourism which supported the beginning of the primary infrastructure development in the 2000s. So, in 2012, the FRPH and the Government of the Netherlands funding was stopped.
Per year, around 15-20 thousand tourist visit Hustai and their total financial investment is close to 1 billion Mongolian tugrik. All of the tourism investment is spent on conservation. Some of the ways the tourist investment help conservation are as follows:
- Four season, complete uniforms and equipment (including upkeep and maintenance) for the rangers, horses, and motorcycles (including petrol);
- Expenditure of all activities for the conservation of wild horses. Including personal weather stations, GPS and computers to input data;
- The tourist resort`s heating system, electricity, waste managemnent wood and coal;
- Donations for the local area`s public services.