MENDELU Experts Help Mongolia Introduce Czech System of Hiking Markers For Tourists
The Czech Hiking Markers Standard is the most widely used system in the world for marking trails. Photo credit: MENDELU.
Brno, July 7 (BD) – Mongolia will adopt the Czech system of marking tourist routes. The Mongolian Tourist Association (MWA) has signed an agreement with the Czech Tourist Club in Bogd Khan Mountain, one of the oldest protected areas in the world, above the fast-growing capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
At the border of the city, where the forest begins, MWA is building the first hiking trail in Mongolia, supported by experts from Mendel University and the Czech Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. The first sign was opened on the Dugui Tsagaan route, attended by representatives of the Mongolian government and a number of local organisations.
“Hiking is a relatively new branch of tourism in Mongolia,” said Václav Pecina from Mendel University, who trained the first team of Mongolian trail-markers. “There was never any place for such activities in the land of steppes that turn into semi-deserts and deserts, where the population roamed with their herds for grazing. But with the gradual settlement in cities, people began to miss nature.”
Mongolia has declared 2023 the year of tourism. Tourism is gaining popularity not only among locals; the country is an increasingly sought after destination for foreign visitors, creating a need for maintained and well-marked hiking trails. Until now, tourists have had to rely on self-planned routes, improvisation, or recommendations from locals.
Support for tourism is a continuation of MENDELU’s long-standing work in Mongolia, especially its Faculty of Forestry and Wood. The university will continue helping Mongolian partners with signage, accompanying education resources, and expanding tourism infrastructure in the Mongolian forests.
“In cooperation with MWA, we plan to jointly design and mark tourist routes, as well as preparing accompanying information boards and creating educational trails,” said Pecina. “The students of our university also have a chance to take part in this – two of them already have bachelor’s theses planned for designing. Their goal will be not only the design of the trail and accompanying infrastructure, but also the collection of information about the environment directly in the field.” In cooperation with the Club of Czech Tourists, the students will train more Mongolian trail-markers in September.
The Czech Hiking Markers Standard is the most widely used system in the world for marking trails. It is among the most efficient systems in terms of methodology and quality thanks to the simplicity of the 10 x 10 cm band, and can be used in nature as well as in cities. All horizontal stripes are the same width; the middle stripe indicates the colour of the route and the outermost white ones make the mark easier to see. The system is used around Central Europe, Ukraine, the Romanian Banat, and a dozen other countries, even as far away as Brazil.