Capitalizing factory tours

  • By chagy5
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  • 2024-05-17
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Capitalizing factory tours

During a recent event, researchers presented that 23 percent of tourists who came to Mongolia last year, or more than 153,000 tourists visited the factories and boutiques of Gobi JSC and bought cashmere products. 75 percent of the foreign customers who purchased products from the company were Korean, 10 percent were Chinese, and four percent were Russian and Japanese tourists. Experts have estimated that the number of tourists interested in wool and cashmere products will grow rapidly, and as a result the above indicator will “surpass” in the future. Shortly after this information was released, the Khanbogd Cashmere and Mongol Textile companies took steps to bring their products and services closer to tourists. They introduced the product making process and steps to the representatives of tour operator companies and guides. Also, they expressed the readiness to welcome tourists and encouraged tour guide organizations to include the national companies in the city’s tour itinerary. In addition, Darkhan Nekhii JSC and Evseg Cashmere will advertise their products and services to foreigners. Recently, national and large companies that produce and market products using wool, cashmere, sheepskin, and wool have been actively working on the development of industry-based tourism.


Countries around the world have kept the factory tour as the centerpiece of the tourism industry. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) study, 25-33 percent of international travelers decide to travel to another region or country for the factory tour. In other words, with a specific purpose and organization, tourists visit a factory, its adjacent exhibition or service center, and learn on the spot how goods and products are made. Since people have more faith in what they see and experience with their own eyes, factory tours allow companies to promote their products and services in a positive way in the community and international markets, and increase their reputation and sales. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in the diversification of tourism and creates economic benefits.


In this direction, countries develop travel ideas based on their own unique features, heritage, culture, and large-scale national industries and businesses. Particularly, large companies known in the international market for their products not only introduce their daily operations, workshops, and processing, but also create museums, special display areas, and accompanying services to attract tourists. Germany is famous for its tours of the manufacturer of passenger cars and motorcycles, BMW, as well as Haribo, Erdinger and Jagermeister. It is said that Americans make foreigners “drool over” when they travel to get to know the production of sweets and food such as “Copa” coffee, “Cape Cod” chips, “Hammond’s Candies”, “Hershey’s” chocolate and “Ben and Jerry’s ice cream”. Furthermore, Italy’s “Ferrari”, “Lamborghini”, “Ducati”, Ireland’s “Guinness” beer, America’s “Coca Cola” factory, boutiques, museums and exhibitions “shock” international tourists with their sightseeing tours.


There are many countries that are famous for their own travel itineraries, based on the culture of farming, handicrafts, food and drink preparation. For instance, India has developed as a great example in the region that introduces tourists to the process of growing, picking and preparing tea plants. More examples include Laotians, Italians, French, Japanese, and Brazilians. They have successfully made their white rice, corn, peanuts, wine, noodles (ramen), and coffee the “main character” of the production tour. Tourists are very interested in how these global food products go from the fields to the hands of consumers. Therefore, farmers, entrepreneurs, and local people sell their “know-how” to them at an affordable price. However, this type of travel is not very developed in our country, but there is an opportunity to further support and attract tourists.


A researcher of the Mongolian Tourism Association said, “There are hardly any people who come to Mongolia thinking ‘Let’s just go to such a factory there’ because this type of travel is not developed in our country. A group of tourists coming here as part of a project or program may visit a factory or service center. People who come for ‘merely’ travel return after visiting only shops and museums. There are few agents and tour operators that include factories in their itineraries and guidelines. Recently, few companies like APU, Gobi, and Monos have started welcoming tourists for the above-mentioned type of travel”. 


Mongolia is one of the few countries that have pastoralism or animal husbandry. It is also on top of the world in terms of livestock production. From this point of view, it is possible to make money by making the activities of companies and farmers working in the field of livestock raw materials processing interesting for tourists. At a time when intensive animal husbandry is gaining strength in the world, how Mongolians herd, raise and benefit from their livestock will undoubtedly attract the attention of tourists. For example, we can show the process of SUU JSC to illustrate how local people process dairy products from the herder’s farm. SUU JSC, the first cluster farm in Mongolia, with more than 400 cows, was founded by families with dairy cows in Bayandelger soum of Tuv Province. It was established in 1958 under the name Factory of milk, and was later privatized. It now produces more than 20 types of milk and dairy products.


It is commendable that companies are starting to take initiatives to see the possibility of promoting agriculture-based light industries, wool and cashmere, and developing them into tourism products. “Mongol Textile” is the oldest enterprise of Mongolia with a history of 60 years. They produce more than 600 brands and types of clothing, household textiles and knitted products from sheep, camel, yak wool, and goat cashmere, and supply them to foreign and domestic markets. Similarly, everyone knows that the workers, organizers, and founders of “Gobi” are valuable contributors to the recognition of Mongolian cashmere in the world, and that it is one of the oldest industries operating up to now. Now they need to be recognized in the international market through tourism. Other companies operating in this field also have similar opportunities.


Furthermore, the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine can be shown to tourists. As a host country implementing a world-class underground mining project, why not attract the attention of tourists with a large complex that is ambitious to rank fourth in copper production by 2030. The Oyu Tolgoi deposit ranks among the top five in the world in terms of reserves and mining capacity, so it has the potential to become a special industrial tourism product. Also, the underground mine museum established in Berkh town in Batnorov soum of Khentii Province can be used for this purpose. In the world, special interest tourism based on mining, heavy machinery, and large-scale equipment production is also well developed.


The State of Tourism Report issued by the World Tourism Organization said “The basis of factory travel was laid between the 18th and 19th centuries, when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transportation had a great impact on the economy and the society. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, makers of small household appliances such as clothes, vases, and glass were popular, but now the attention is focused on the suppliers of large-scale products such as hardware, technology and spaceships. One of the greatest examples is a tour of the Boeing Company, the largest manufacturer of aircraft, rockets and satellites in the United States. In addition to that, food products, alcohol, and distilled drinks industries continue to be the ‘main players’ in this market”. 


Countries and companies that run “smoke-free industry” have a policy of including big factories that are the signature of their country in their city travel routes. Japan, as part of its programs to promote its national culture, annually brings thousands of foreigners to its country. During which, from large corporations, such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi to small and medium-sized enterprises in the state and cities are shown to the travelers. The companies also set up museums, demonstrations, and test sites to attract tourists. They bring their products and services to the public. Moreover, introductory tours of Coca Cola are priced at 13 to 17 USD, “Triumph Motorcycles” at 28 USD, “Bentley Motors” at 40 USD and are sold to tourists through digital platforms. On the other hand, our country’s industries usually make agreements and deals to “share” with tourism companies, guides, and interpreters, and have the tourists. In the future, it is necessary to attract tourists by creating a special environment for tourists and accompanying services according to global standards. The factory tour is for sure to be interesting for both domestic and foreign tourists.