‘The responsible travel value is a true value to Eternal Landscapes and core to what you do. It is not merely a nice term which you just give lip service to. I do feel that our trip was low impact. If any impact was made, it is a positive, financial one to the local communities we passed through.’
Sarah Cutler, Australia, Untamed Mongolia
‘It was clear that EL takes great care to operate to the highest standards of fair trade, to benefit local people by taking trade directly to them, and employing people less likely to have
Alison Cathles, UK, Untamed Mongolia
Responsible, sustainable or ethical travel - in recent years, it has developed many labels and is now a widely-used selling tool in the tourism industry. But, what does it mean? Although there is no real clear definition, it has to be more than ensuring that we collect all of our rubbish, asking before taking a photograph or being aware of the cultural norms. That’s what we should be automatically doing anyway and is ‘tick-box’ responsible travel.
For me, Jess - the founder of EL, this is about our responsibility to Mongolia. Travel can, and should be, a positive experience for both you, the visitor, and for Mongolia – its natural environment, people, culture and traditions. I believe that travel has to be beneficial to all concerned. This for me is responsible travel.
When I set up Eternal Landscapes, I wanted to have responsible travel goals that were realistic and attainable - ones that we could actually achieve. I also wanted to be able to show real evidence of our practise.
Eternal Landscapes is not an NGO or a charity. Neither are Turuu or I philanthropists. However, our love of Mongolia is genuine and our involvement is long-term. We are a micro-business so our level of support may be relatively small in the grand scheme of things but we think that it does help to make a visible and significant difference.
And yes, we are not perfect and do struggle with certain aspects of our responsible travel philosophy. But, I believe in improvement and re-evaluate each year our achievements and weaknesses. I also welcome any suggestions or feedback on how our guests feel we can increase our commitment to sustainable travel in Mongolia.