Overview: Astro-tourism with nomadic herder in forest area of Mongolia

Our goal is to train nomadic herders in basic astronomy and develop Astro-tourism in around Khuvsgul province, the forest area of Mongolia. In the future the project will be expanded across the country; it will focus on Astro-homestay with nomadic families in Mongolia.

Khuvsgul lake area of the Khuvsgul province is the place of blue skies and one of the most famous nomadic places in the world. This area is characterized by beautiful nature and amazing landscapes, such as the Forest area, Desert area, Mountain area, and Grassland area. As almost the only nation still keeping its nomadic traditions and lifestyle, they move different places every 4 seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring).

The project will provide training workshops for nomadic herder families on Astro-tourism activities, both physically and virtually. We have selected 60 families for the astro tourism trainings. The family members (around 150 nomads and herders) are all interested in the training. The importance of having beautiful dark sky in Mongolia will be highlighted. It also includes practical guidance on Astro-homestay. In order to attract tourists to their region, the local herders, government and local policy and decision makers need to improve their knowledge and skills for tourist activities. Herders will learn how to use telescopes, intelligent lighting, inspiration of the night sky, and understanding of the impacts of light pollution on environment and nature.

In fact, some of the local nomadic people only provide nomadic family homestay, but have no idea how astronomical outreach can be an excellent tool for protecting the dark sky and developing Astro-homestay; this can provide much-needed income for them. We will teach nomads and herders to understand that Astro-homestay can lead to a healthy sustainable economic development.