ULAN BATOR, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia will introduce a tax-free system from January 2024, exempting foreign citizens from value-added tax, local media reported on Friday, citing the country's Finance Minister Bold Javkhlan.
The move is part of the country's efforts to promote tourism, said Javkhlan. To claim tax refund, foreign citizens will need to register in the E-Mongolia mobile application and scan online cash register receipts of the purchases.
The Mongolian government has been taking measures to revive the pandemic-hit tourism sector.
In January, visitors from 34 countries were granted visa-free entry to Mongolia for tourism purposes, increasing the number of visa-exempt countries to 61.
The Asian country has also declared 2023-2025 as "Years to Visit Mongolia" and set a goal of welcoming at least 1 million foreign tourists and earning 1 billion U.S. dollars from tourism in the coming years.
Mongolia's economy is mainly dependent on its export-oriented mining sector. Developing tourism is seen as the most viable way to diversify the economy.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Mongolia exceeded 600,000 by the end of October, an all-time high surpassing 2019's total, according to the country's Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
The Asian country received roughly 577,300 foreign tourists in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. ■