As a company we want to to make adventure travel sustainable for the long term - we know that tourism can have both an exceptionally positive and potentially negative impact on local communities. We are therefore committed to operating according to our responsible travel guidelines and we hope that with your help we can make a difference.
We have been a member of Responsible Travel since 2008. Membership Number: 1006
Our responsible travel objectives can be subdivided as described below.
To arrange great cultural, adventurous, fun and eye-opening experiences for our clients, whilst at the same time considering their physical comfort and safety.
All accommodation utilized, both hotel and ger camps, are owned by Mongolian people / companies.
Tourists are informed before the start of the tour about the most important environmental considerations.
Upon booking a tour, clients are given a Tour Dossier which includes a section on attitudes and behaviour.
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To arrange great cultural, adventurous, fun and eye-opening experiences for our clients, whilst at the same time considering their physical comfort and safety. To offer every opportunity for travellers to enjoy spontaneous interchange with the local people. By introducing our clients to the Mongolian people, we inspire them to achieve more important goals and a greater understanding of life.
The generous hospitality, lack of material wealth, practical survival skills and pride of the Mongolian people are instrumental in this. To demonstrate that visitors to Mongolia are looked upon and treated as guests, by the staff as well as local people we meet along the way. To travel through Mongolia causing the very least amount of change to the environment and by the behaviour of the tourists to influence actions of the local people, especially with regards to disposal of non-biodegradable rubbish. To provide the best possible working conditions for our employees.
All accommodation utilized, both hotel and ger camps, are owned by Mongolian people / companies. Temporary staff such as local guides and horsemen are paid a fair wage and provided with the same food and accommodation as regular staff. Local people providing horses, camels or yaks, are paid a good rate. Tourists are encouraged to purchase souvenirs (Mongolian handicrafts) that are made by local people in the places we visit, thus supporting the local economy.
Where possible we include in itineraries visits to projects of interest to tourists which have been set up to create employment for local people. For example, when passing through Tsetserleg town we see a felt making project with demonstrations of how felt is made on a small scale and felt products made for the tourist market. All the accommodation we use on tour, be it hotels, guest houses or ger camps, are owned and staffed by Mongolians. They are all quite small local enterprises and employ local staff. One particular restaurant and guest house that we use in Tsetserleg town is the result of a successful project intended specifically to provide employment in a town where many people do not have jobs.
Tourists are informed before the start of the tour about the most important environmental considerations. This includes use of drinking water, washing in lakes or rivers and rubbish disposal. The staff are trained to take responsibility for their actions re: water usage, contamination of rivers and lakes, rubbish disposal, vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption, use of fuel for cooking. Rubbish is carried with us until we reach a town or village which has proper facilities for rubbish disposal. On camping tours a pit latrine (with toilet tent or privacy windshield) is made at each site.
Before departing, used paper is burned and the pit closed. Clients are instructed before arrival in Mongolia of the requirement for biodegradable soap, shampoo, etc. for camping tours because washing is often in rivers. Clients are only allowed to light camp fires when permission has been given by local people to use windfall. Our complete brochure can be downloaded from our website, saving plenty of paper and printing materials. At most of the ger camps where we stay hot water showers are provided and water is heated using solar power. At ger camps each ger has a wood-burning stove which staff will light if requested. We encourage our clients not to use this facility if it is not very cold because the fuel used is trees cut down in the nearby forests. Some of the ger camps that we use have built very clean wooden pit-latrines and use sawdust to prevent flies and smell.
Upon booking a tour, clients are given a Tour Dossier which includes a section on attitudes and behaviour. We explain some of the most important issues so that tourists will not be embarrassed nor locals offended. During the tour, the leader or interpreter will educate the group on the more important points of Mongolian etiquette so that everyone feels more comfortable when we enter a local home or temple.
We do not take advantage of the need of financially poor nomadic people to make money by inconveniencing them unnecessarily. We put our tents beside a nomadic family’s ger rather than clients sleeping in a family ger and displacing family members. Staff are treated fairly. They are provided with good quality, well maintained equipment and appropriate clothing. Staff are given good and safe working conditions with quality tools and equipment. The health of our staff is a high priority and the company assists with medical costs when appropriate.
Off The Map Tours (UK Representative)
20 The Meer
+ 44 (0) 116 2402625 (GMT + 0)
Off The Map Tours
+ 976 95145291 (GMT + 8)
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Company No. 6145086