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Indigenous culture and tourism: the case of the Ulaanbaatar Naadam festival

Thompson, K.J. and O'Gorman, K.D. (2007) Indigenous culture and tourism: the case of the Ulaanbaatar Naadam festival. In: Tourism and Indigenous Peoples: Issues and Implications. Butterworth - Heinemann, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 161-175. ISBN 9780750664462

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Abstract

In 2006, Mongolia celebrated the 800th anniversary of the unification of the Mongol tribes. Today, roughly half the population follow the traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle on the Steppe, while the rest live in the cities, mainly the capital Ulaanbaatar. Cultural festivals throughout Mongolia celebrate the country's nomadic tradition. Ulanbattar is the largest and attracts international visitors by the historical tradition and cultural uniqueness of the events. Mongolians are attracted to the festival by the indigenous sports and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family and renew old acquaintances. This chapter discusses the different experiences of the two sets of visitors based on a study conducted in 2005, and explores the challenges for this traditional cultural event posed by modern tourism and other forces.