Our Sustainability Focus – Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a style of tourism that emphasizes engagement with nature while minimizing the impacts associated with travel both to the environment and local residents. To be considered ecotourism it is not enough to just visit nature, it must be done respectfully, minimizing impact, and in a way that can actually benefit nature and host communities.
Tourism is now the one of the largest income generators for Mongolia and a very important aspect of the Mongolian economy, an excellent alternative to non sustainable resource extractive industries.
In the many years that I have led outdoor adventure tours in Mongolia, I have seen the signs of increasing impact from outdoor recreation in the state, including from so called “eco tour” recreation providers. I have seen the development of muddy scars across the fragile tundra left by tour groups; trash cans full of recyclables at lodges and campgrounds, and sometimes an overall disregard for the pristine nature that makes Mongolia unique and special.
Impacted landfills, impaired wildlife behavior, and sustainable economic development are a just few of the issues that Mongolians face as tourist numbers continue to grow. This impact threatens to jeopardize the very nature of what makes travel in Mongolia so special.
Alpha Team Tours is committed to the health of Mongolia and the support of low impact outdoor recreation and ecotourism.
We believe that the following actions are smart and important business practices and have incorporated them into our business model.
Our small group camping tours are inherently less impacting than other tour offerings.
By traveling in small groups and staying at established campgrounds, we consume less water, electricity and fuel than if we were staying at lodges or participating on cruise-based trips. We are better able to monitor our environmental impact and to contribute to the local economy in a more direct and meaningful way.
We recycle both in the field and at our base camp.
Minimizing the use of excessive packaging
Efforts are made to purchase products that minimize packaging and utilize recycled content, both for our trips and in the daily operations of the business.
Using locally produced products whenever available
Including locally grown organic produce, thus supporting farmers in the region and reducing the amount of produce that we import from outside of the state.
Using and encouraging the use of locally owned and operated businesses
We have excellent relationships with locally owned businesses and partner with them for services and optional activities and encourage their use before and after our tours.
Employing local workers whenever possible
Not all of our employees are “local” Mongolians. However, we do make a concerted effort to hire locals and preference is given to resident Mongolians.
These are a few of the efforts that we have undertaken to minimize the impacts of our business operations and to contribute to the long-term viability of adventure tourism and ecotourism in Mongolia and the overall health of Mongolia and its economy.
There are a lot of things that we do to ensure that your trip to Mongolia is as enjoyable and as low impact as possible: low group numbers (among the very lowest in the industry), smartly organized itineraries lead by experienced guides, top of the line equipment, and intimate knowledge of the areas we visit are just a few. We know how vitally important your vacation is to you and will go out of our way to ensure that your experience is enriching, seamless, and fun!
And we will do so in a manner that greatly reduces our negative impact on the environment and people that you are here to experience.
We hope to see you in Mongolia and please contact us with any questions.
– Ganzo and the Alpha Team Tours members