Reindeer Camps in Mongolia

Guided tours to the reindeer herders are an established tourist attraction promoted by national and international tourism companies. In the West Taiga, tourists stay in tourist camps established beside the Shishged River, outside the summer pasture area. Herders from Camp 1 in the East Taiga prefer pastures close to the sum centre from May to September so that their camps are easily accessible to tourists. Apart from sporadic income from selling souvenirs of carved antlers, other handicrafts, or homemade bread, the herders are generally not part of the tourist value chain. Although staying in one pasture for a long period can negatively affect reindeer health, herders feel they have no choice as they are dependent on the income from tourists (see also FAO 2007). This way tourism provides both a threat and an opportunity for the taiga people.

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