Leading the Way: Recognised as Gender Equality Champions in Tourism on an International Scale

Equality in Tourism International, comprised of top experts in the field of gender and tourism, advocates for a fair and equitable tourism industry. Through developing case studies, conducting groundbreaking research, and promoting best practices, they strive to ensure that gender equality remains a fundamental principle within the tourism sector. Central to their mission is the amplification of women’s voices in tourism, making their perspectives integral to shaping the future of the industry.

Mission Of Equality In Tourism International

To transform the lives of women in tourism by developing gender equality across the industry.

We envision a just tourism industry that empowers women and girls, promotes diversity and inclusion, and contributes to the social, economic and environmental well-being of local communities.

So we are incredibly proud to announce that Eternal Landscapes has been honoured with the prestigious Gender Equality Champion of the Year award, presented by Equality In Tourism International.

Equality In Tourism International Logo

The Gender Equality Champion Of The Year

The Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award is an internationally recognised honour within the tourism and hospitality industries. It’s bestowed by Equality In Tourism International upon organisations that demonstrate excellence in their commitment to gender equality. It’s the only one of its kind on a global platform and is a tribute to those in the industry who are pioneering the way towards a more gender-balanced world. Additionally, Equality In Tourism extends invaluable support to the recipients of the award and fosters a global network to further the cause of gender equality in tourism. This is why we are profoundly proud to be named recipients of the 2024 award.

“This award not only illuminates best practices but also serves as a catalyst, propelling the hospitality sector towards a future where fairness and inclusivity are the cornerstone of excellence.” Glenn Mandziuk | CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

We won the Travel and Destinations category. This is what the judges said about Eternal Landscapes:

“We loved their clear actions, transparency, website, men as equals, broadening opportunities for marginalised women, personal growth.”

Award for gender equality champions in tourism

Gender Equality Champions in Tourism

The Motivation That Drives Us

Mongolia is often marketed in tourism through stereotypes and clichés, inviting travellers to experience a way of life little changed since the time of Chinggis Khan. Many companies capitalise on these stereotypes because this imagery sells tours. They also highlight how they employ the best guides. But for me, both of these perpetuate exclusivity, unfortunately excluding a percentage of Mongolia’s population from the benefits of tourism.

As Turuu and I embarked on our journey to establish Eternal Landscapes—a small and fledgling company—in 2010, we encountered significant challenges in securing accommodation contracts and reliable guides. The tourism landscape at that time was predominantly male, with male drivers often paired with male translators and guides. Additionally, we noticed a recurring pattern within the industry—a ‘circuit’ of seasoned guides rotating between various companies or a preference for Western leaders over local Mongolians.

To overcome these hurdles, we embarked on a path of innovation by forging long-term partnerships with local communities. Recognising that our drivers would all be male, we also implemented a policy to employ Mongolian women who sought opportunities to work as tourism guides. Through this initiative, I aimed to provide training and employment for women who desired to enter the tourism industry but lacked connections, formal qualifications, or experience—echoing the chance that was once extended to me. Our philosophy is rooted in belief—belief in others and their potential. These initiatives have not only played a pivotal role in shaping the experiences we provide but have also become fundamental cornerstones of our ongoing business operations.

Indeed, we’re dealing with people, and real life is messy—just like the lives of our team and our long-term local community partners. Real lives don’t fit neatly into policies or metrics, which is why we prioritise flexibility, understanding, and cultural sensitivity. We invite our guests to be part of a bigger travel philosophy that embraces the complexities of human experience and fosters meaningful connections beyond the confines of traditional tourism.

Our driving force is rooted in the belief that every individual, regardless of gender or background, deserves equal opportunities to thrive. I am motivated by the vision of a tourism industry that is inclusive and supportive. This passion fuels our commitment to breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating pathways for local communities, particularly women in Mongolia, to actively participate in the tourism sector. With every step we take, I strive for Eternal Landscapes to make a meaningful difference and inspire positive change in our industry and beyond.

As a woman and co-founder of EL alongside Turuu, I’ve encountered countless instances where my ownership was overlooked, with assumptions often made about who holds that position, presuming it to be male. This was incredibly disheartening. Therefore, this award stands as a testament to the power of perseverance. It underscores the belief that everyone, regardless of gender, age, or background, should benefit from the positive impacts of tourism. Tourism holds immense power, and regardless of a company’s size, we all possess the ability to make a significant impact.

Our Gender Equality Policy

Discover more about our Gender Equality Policy and our collaborations with local communities and initiatives.

How We Empower Mongolian Women

Gain insight into the motivation behind our policy to exclusively employ Mongolian women as our guides.

Our Support Of Male Drivers

Learn more about support for and work with Mongolia’s older, more traditional, male drivers.

The Future

With our firsthand experience of the positive impact of equity in the Mongolian tourism industry, we hold a firm belief that gender equality is not just desirable but essential within our field. While operating tours in Mongolia provides our income, our primary focus lies in creating social impact. We deliberately choose not to cater to everyone, thus limiting the size of our business—we’re not a general tour agency. Consequently, this deliberate focus on social impact constrains our financial budget.

We noticed that our voice was often drowned out by the marketing budgets or social media reach of larger international companies or influencers. This realisation led us to apply for the award, as we saw it as an opportunity to highlight the positive impact of our work in Mongolia.

Winning the Gender Equality Champion of the Year award serves as a validation of our commitment to gender equality within the tourism industry, reinforcing our reputation in promoting equitable practices. Moreover, the award will hopefully open doors to new opportunities, such as partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organisations, both locally and internationally. We also hope it will facilitate access to funding or grants for Chandmana Erdene, enabling us to further expand our impact and reach.

Overall, winning the Gender Equality Champion of the Year award will help to enhance our small brand’s visibility and credibility and hopefully serve as a catalyst for our small company to further advance our mission of promoting social impact and inclusivity within the tourism industry.

We feel deeply honoured to have been chosen and look forward to continuing the journey.

Building on the positive impacts observed among our female team members, we are excited to announce our plans to formalise our training scheme through Chandmana Erdene. This pioneering project is our own creation—a low-impact, community-based centre dedicated to offering an aspirational tourism training program for Mongolian women. Our aim is to create a tangible and enduring difference in their lives, empowering them for a brighter future.

Chandmana Erdene

We Would Love To Hear From You!

WhatsApp: +44 (0) 7810280403     Mail: jess@eternal-landscapes.co.uk

If you’re in Ulaanbaatar why not pop in to our office. We love receiving guests.
The kettle is always on.

Just call Tuya to arrange +976 88011476.
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