MR. ZANJAN FROMER
Alaskan Native Founder
Mr. Zanjan Fromer has been working in the film, media, tourism and social economic development fields for well over 20+ years. Mr. Fromer is internationally recognized by renown institutions for over a decade (National Geographic Society, Ashoka Changemakers, USAID, SDC, UNWTO, etc.), and is the first American to be awarded the Ministerial Gold Star of Leadership (Medal of Honor) for his successful contributions towards Mongolia’s transitional development.
Mr. Zanjan Fromer has an incredible history of social economic development and if you desire to learn more about Mr. Fromer we highly recommend that you visit his online portfolio at
MS. BAYARSUREN YALALT
Ms. Bayarsuren Yalalt graduated top of her class with a Masters Degree in Tourism Business and Management – Ms. Yalalt has co-founded GERtoGER with Mr. Fromer, she is a massively driven to assist nomadic families connect with the greater tourism industry. Ms. Yalalt and Mr. Fromer have spearheaded the international Expo marketing works that has led to a greater industry awareness; today in addition to working with rural Mongolia, Ms. Yalalt remains locally active via industry working groups that desire to advance Mongolia’s tourism industry.
Ms. Yalalt was recently recognized by the Mongolian Tourism Association for her years of contributions towards the development of Mongolia’s Tourism Industry.
SNAPSHOTS OF US/FIELD WORKS
Check it out! 14+ YEARS of “real” development, KNOW the difference
Definitive LIST of how GER to GER ACTIVELY FULFILLS the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Today’s major issue in Mongolia are irresponsible tour operators/competitors unethically profiteering/gaining from the ‘responsible tourism’ brand by sabotaging Responsible Tour Operators’ markets via disruptors, trolls, scammers, etc., that use Trip Advisor to damage the alternative incomes of nomadic families via factless statements of concern that the tourism industry “damages” nomads. What truly damages nomadic families are unethical individuals/scams/dishonest reviews and lack of market distinction now between responsible and irresponsible as everyone claims to be ‘responsible’. Hence, GERtoGER is using SDGs to highlight our ‘Responsible Tourism’ methodology:
- SDG 1 – NO POVERTY: 80% of Humanitarian Trips’ finances are returned to rural nomads, drivers, etc.; 20% towards rural communities’ marketing and workshops.
- SDG 2 – ZERO HUNGER: We have/continue to employ nomadic families who are the poorest of the poor.
- SDG 3 – GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: trainings on health/safety/reduce sanitation illnesses (Hepatitis A, etc.); incomes for medical insurance, visits, medication, surgeries, etc.
- SDG 4 – QUALITY EDUCATION: Via workshops/incomes nomadic adults/children are receiving education via workshops (locals/internationals), schools, high schools and universities.
- SDG 5 – GENDER EQUALITY: Over 70% of our national managers are women; rurally, women care for travelers’ family experience (food, drink, etc.) while men generally guide (though some women guide).
- SDG 6 – CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION: (TRAINING/OPERATIONS) 1) nomads/travelers – “Leave No Trace” 2) waste management to mitigate watershed damages along routes, etc.
- SDG 7 – AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY: assisted all nomadic families to obtain savings accounts across Mongolia – credit histories used for financial services/small-loans to procure solar/wind powered units.
- SDG 8 – DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: Social economic development via tourism while combatting negative aspects of open market growth. Over 90% of HR are rural; via “Geotourism” we strengthen rural supply chains.
- SDG 9 – INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE: “GER to GER” is the Mongol Empire’s ancient “kinetic supply chain” – today this ancient supply chain advances Mongolia’s social economic aspirations.
- SDG 10 – REDUCE INEQUALITIES: In addition to financial equality, SDG initiatives in Mongolia and abroad – for the last 6+ years we’ve been tracking, mapping, countering, etc., a variety of “inequalities” from Asia to EU to mitigate home-grown issues across multiple countries/internet-platforms.
- SDG 11 – SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES: GERtoGER meshes “kinetic” and “static” supply chains into itineraries, products, etc., towards advancing social economic development. GERtoGER’s founder has spent 23+ years assisting Mongolia through its post-Soviet transitional development (tourism, meat, cashmere) – first USAID funded “The Competitiveness Initiative”.
- SDG 12 – RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: 1) travelers are trained on “subsistence nomadic lifestyles, traditions, history, etc.” 2) nomadic tribes are provided with cashmere-alternatives owing to overgrazing issues (sharp increase in goat numbers); sustainable eco-incomes vs. land degradation incomes that impacts nomadism, livestock, GDPs, nature/environment.
- SDG 13 – CLIMATE ACTION: We have conducted Nomad Relief Efforts during climatic disasters; films, media pieces, awareness campaigns, etc. 2) We established networks ‘that can’ monitor trends (goats, desertification, watershed situations, weather impacts on land degradation, etc.)
- SDG 14 – LIFE BELOW WATER: Via workshops all herder/travelers are trained about the importance of water resources in relation to mitigating waste related issues, etc. Though Mongolia may not have oceans – the quality of Mongolia’s watersheds are vital to nomadic populations throughout the country. Mr. Fromer assisted USAID Gobi Initiative’s “Watershed Monitoring” program works as the quality of the watersheds directly impacts Mongolia’s GDPs (cashmere, meat, tourism) as nomadic families are the core “node” of all three industries.
- SDG 15 – LIFE ON LAND: Via workshops herders/travelers are trained about the importance of land resources in relation to mitigating waste related issues, watershed impacts on land quality, weather/climatic degradation of land, etc., in addition to serious issues pertaining to overgrazing, etc., GER to GER has established nomadic networks ‘that can’ monitor such remote concerns (GDP concerns).
- SDG 16 – PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS: We promote the UN’s UDHRs within Mongolia, social media, etc. Mr. Fromer encourages all countries to “maintain the peace” via making the general public aware of social-issues (extremists, oppression OPS, racial hate CRIMES, etc.) that may indeed hinder social economic development.
- SDG 17 – PARTNERSHIP FOR THE GOALS: Via social media networks (Facebooking, Twitter, etc.), partners, donors, etc., we proactively expand our initiatives.
- “Responsible-Tours.org“ established by GER to GER and the Founder, this new Initiative is being launched by “The Global Practitioners” to assist International CBTs, CSR Initiatives, alternative community travel networks and Geotourism Initiatives
- “LastLifeLine.org“ under the GERtoGER Foundation this new Initiative aims to match Global Issues of the aforementioned “MDGs/SDGs” that require exposure to better link with like-minded organizations.
Responsible Travel Notes:
* All Humanitarian Trips and Homestays are 100% “Reality Trips” that are managed and operated by locals and nomadic families; GER to GER Office operates ONLY AS A Humanitarian “Travel Agent” for communities (non-tour operator).
* GER to GER humanitarian trips is about “Reality” – real families, real lifestyles, real situation, etc. (who are the Mongols? And not about our expectations).
* GER to GER humanitarian trips are not an amusement park experience – it’s about awareness/respecting nomadic lifestyle and learning “their ways” (not ours), etc.
* GER to GER is an opportunity for people to learn how to integrate within other cultures vs. other cultures catering to our international norms and standards that we have become overly accustomed too and demand others to adhere too (like paid entertainment slaves).
* GER to GER has generated over a Million USD towards Mongolia’s social economic development via supply-chain synergies and provides over 80% of its revenues toward rural nomadic families that greatly need this alternative income source.
This is WHY I’m ACTIVELY PROTECTING rural nomadic tribes’ social economic development efforts from trolls, scammers, disruptors, etc.
The main reason I willfully placed myself in-between the scammers/trolls and the rural nomadic communities is simply for the following reasons: 1) We internationals have more experience in the concept of “costumer services/responsible tourism” than rural nomadic tribes 2) We TRAIN every foreigner that desires to travel via GER to GER Humanitarian Trips with rural nomadic tribes 3) We have a 13 LEVELS of VERIFICATIONS that ensures that the traveler 100% COMPREHENDS that Humanitarian Trips ARE NOT packaged holiday trips 4) ALL foreign travelers 100% know how we operate and why… etc.
SO there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for the level of scams/fraud/negative being generated by con-artists with unethical agendas…
If I don’t protect our works/nomadic families, who will?
The TROLLS? The SCAMMERS? The DISRUPTORS? The COMPETITORS?
Some Successes from 1000s include:
“Ger to Ger saved my husband’s health in 2016… Ger to Ger paid for his entire hip replacement surgery/one month’s physical therapy treatment cost at the Korean Hospital. Today, he is working by himself and started to herd animals alone without requiring other people’s assistance; his backbone pain gone forever.”
“The benefits of working with Ger to Ger are countless.”
“Income that my family earned from tourism sector has paid for my husband’s rehab and medical treatment for his liver.”
A Nomad States
“My additional revenue from tourism industry benefitted my livestock to grow sustainably as I had no longer kill animals to pay my four children’s tuitions and my wife’s liver treatment.”
“After collecting my salary for couple years, I was able to pay for my two older daughters’ university tuitions. The oldest daughter fulfilled her dream as a pre-med student and the other one studied Korean language. The young two daughters are studying in English school and high school specialized in math.”
“I used my salary to purchase more animals for my family and a horse cart so I don’t need to beg other families to lend us their cart so my family can move during seasonal migration.”
“In 2008, my brother was killed due to unsafe working conditions in the unlicensed Nalaih mines. If my husband and I were not working at Ger to Ger, my husband could have been killed too. It’s truly wonderful that Ger to Ger assisted my family and also saved my life for my children… I’m always Appreciative.”
“In 2006, Ger to Ger invited my family to become a host family however we had no financial resources and no animals to transport travelers. Regardless of our challenges, Ger to Ger team extended their hands by recommending to rent animals and Gers from other families until we were able to procure our own.”
“We used to herd for other families for many years because we did not have our own animals. But after working with Ger to Ger our livelihoods improved and we purchased our own animals; and herding them now. Also few years ago, one of my sons had heart problem and had to have urgent surgery. If we did not work with Ger to Ger and did not earn money from tourism sector we could not have afford to pay the surgery cost and save my son. Today my son is healthy and herding animals, next year he will start studying in University.”
100% Proven AND Traceable History
A Brief Look at Mr. Zanjan Fromer’s Timeline of Achievements, Honors and Recognitions:
- 2018 Panelist Speaker at the USAID Funded LEAD SUMMIT (Leaders for Democracy)
- 2017 World Travel Market London, UK – GERtoGER.org and Responsible.Tours
- 2017 Seoul International Travel Mart Expo – GERtoGER.org and Responsible.Tours
- 2017 COTTM, Beijing’s International Travel Exhibition – GERtoGER.org TEAM
- 2017 ITB Berlin, Germany International Travel Exhibition – GERtoGER.org
- 2016/17 Mongolia Producer of “Dani’s Way”; first trilateral international production between Beijing, USA and Mongolia – supported by Mongolia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- 2016 World Travel Market (WTM) London, England – GERtoGER.org
- 2016 ITB Berlin, Germany International Travel Exhibition – GERtoGER.org
- 2015 “THE MINISTERIAL GOLD STAR – MEDAL OF HONOR FOR LEADERSHIP” GOVERNMENT PASSPORT BOOK AND SEAL
- 2015 WTM London Travel International Travel Exhibition – GERtoGER.org – an Official Country Representative Company approved by the Mongolian Government
- 2015 ITB Berlin, Germany International Travel Exhibition – GERtoGER.org – an Official Country Representative Company approved by the Mongolian Government
- 2006-Today Official Partner of Give2Asia (USA501c3)
- 2005-Pres. IMDb Profile and Some Client Listings
- 2014 Certified Member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
- 2008-2014 Lonely Planet “…most innovative tourism concept in Mongolia, …top of every traveller’s wish list…”
- 2014 ITB Berlin, Germany International Travel Exhibition – Exhibitor – GERtoGER.org – an Official Country Representative Company approved by the Mongolian Tourism Association
- 2014 Adventure Travel Show London Exhibitor
- 2014 Hong Kong Adventure International Travel Exhibition – Exhibitor – GERtoGER.org
- 2013 WTM London International Travel Exhibition – Exhibitor – GERtoGER.org – an Approved Official Country Representative Company
- 2013 Rough Guides – Meet the Locals – How to Immerse Yourself on Your Local Travels
- 2012 COTTM Beijing, ChinaInternational Travel Exhibition – Exhibitor – GERtoGER.org
- 2012 National Geographic’s “World’s Best Travel Experiences” #8 – GERtoGER.org
- 2010 National Geographic Society – Geotourism Ambassadorship
- 2010 National Geographic Society – Global Finalist Certificate
- 2010 Honored by National Geographic as one of World’s Innovative Travel Entrepreneurs
- 2009 Top Ten Global Finalist of National Geographic Society and Ashoka Changemakers “Power of Place” GeoTourism Challenge
- 2009 WHL Travel’s Urban Adventures Award
- 2009 Tour Dust’s Scholarship Award
- 2009 National Geographic Society’s Weekend Broadcast
- 2007 NBC UNIVERSAL STUDIO’S Syfy Channel – “Destination Truth” – Josh Gates
- 2007 United States Agency for International Development Grant Winner
- 2007 Officially recommended by UNESCAP at its 63rd Session – Page 14
- 2006-07 Established the Give2Asia.org – GER to GER Fund with the Assistance of Loreena McKennitt (internationally famed Singer) and The Asian Foundation
- 2006 National Geographic Society Washington D.C. Museum – personally requested Mr. Zanjan Fromer to make and produce the Centerpiece Film for “Mongolia: Rebirth of Traditions”
- 2006 Official Partner of the CBS’s The Amazing Race: Season 10 Episode 2
- 2005 Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Grant Winner
- 2005 World Bank Tender Winner – Cross-Industry Supply Chain and Competitiveness Study and Analysis
- USAID/CHF’s Ger Initiative (Global Communities) – Tender Winner – Contracted as Project Manager/Filmmaker of over 16 short films about CHF International’s community initiatives across Mongolia
- The Historic 2002 BIT Milan, Italy International Travel Exhibition – One of Two Official Mongolian Tourism Association/USAID Organizing Representatives (the other official representative was Michelle Morgan, C.O.P. of the USAID funded The Competitiveness Initiative) – 1st time in Mongolian History that “Mongolia” participated in an International Travel Exhibition and marketed itself as a “Country Destination” since opening its doors to the world as a democracy in 1989.
- 2000-03 United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded The Competitiveness Initiative – Honored by Mongolia’s Tourism Association for Contributions made towards the Development of Mongolia’s Tourism Industry.
- 1998-99 SOROS Foundation
- 1996-97 Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment; Snow Leopard and Gobi Bear Initiatives
- 1995-96 UN Convention on The Rights of the Child
- 1993-95 Alaskan Sightseeing and Cruise West
- 1992 “Close Up Foundation” Washington D.C. Selectee
- 1990-91 Varsity Wrestling/State, Awarded “Most Improved” Sehome High School (it’s all about the champion mindset/overcoming challenges – it’s about the development process)
100% Fair Review about our Humanitarian Trips
My husband and I are in our late 30s, travel a lot, and have a pretty flexible budget so over time have taken every possible trip: guided group guided private, self guided and everything in-between. Ger to Ger is like nothing else we’ve done and became one of our best travel experiences.
We did what the Mongolia Budget Trekking Trip Through Khangai Mountain Range for 10 days in August 2016. Ger to Ger provides an orientation and a bus ticket to a starting point and from there, you rely on new family each day as your host. At each yurt/ger, you get lunch, then participate in some sort of household activity, eat dinner, spend the night in a guest ger and then next morning after breakfast get transported by the host to the next family. The families speak zero English so you communicate using gestures, phrase book and drawings, which ends up being surprisingly functional and fun. The accommodations are very basic (outhouse, no electricity, etc.) but clean and comfortable. The nature is breathtaking – the steppe is bright green, vast and pristine as families are widely dispersed to have enough pasture area for their animals.
There are a lot of negative reviews in Ger to Ger forums so we we wanted to focus on addressing a few points that come up in them.
Owner’s Note: Actually there are only a handful of dishonest reviews (way less than 1% of GER to GER clients from 6,000+) across a timeline spanning some 7+ years on the same Lonely Planet Thorn Tree/Trip Advisor thread. It may seem a lot and all recent but they are not – maybe 1 or 2 complaints/dishonest reviews (scams) per season from 400+ travelers per year… can’t satisfy everyone, anyhow Click here to learn more
First, about the orientation (2-hour overview of the trip in Ger to Ger offices). Yes, the owner comes off a bit arrogant and his approach doesn’t really match what Westerners are accustomed to. But after you do the trip, you forgive him. The creativity and drive to build this unique type of tourism and the value he has delivered to local community and to foreigners’ ability to get to know Mongolia qualifies him for some serious slack www.Zanjan-Fromer.com . Plus, we think some of his behavior is intentionally theatrical to get tourists in the mindset to not expect hand holding – the whole point of this type of a trip.
Owner’s Note: We only have a couple hours to train you what typically takes days of professionally training – so it’s our goal to create “thought provocative” curriculums and it could be an information overload for some; however very necessary to maintain our 99+% health/safety record.
On a personal note, I’m not an arrogant individual, however, I’m indeed a passionate and committed field specialist that has sacrificed 23+ years of my life towards international humanitarian works – sure I’m confident, professionally informative/knowledgeable (that’s why I give the trainings) yet very flexible/patient…. but not arrogant (as I don’t introduce all my international awards, etc., upon meeting new people).
Next, the itinerary. Our biggest advice to fellow travelers is to open the Day by Day provided and write in before Day 1 ‘itinerary is for illustration purposes only – actual route, activities and transportation will vary’. The website says things will shift yet people are still upset about the changes so this exercise will force you to really get onboard with it. For example, our first ger day was supposed to be at family X, the activity was sowing traditional outfits and transportation next day was a 25km hike. Instead, we ended up at family Y, our activity turned out to be watching a newly slaughtered sheep being cleaned and butchered and the following day we went to the next family on horseback. For the remaining days at dinner, we would draw pictures with locals figuring out which family, how far and how our next morning was to be spent. What was amazing is that each family knew exactly what and how was to happen so the whole thing worked like a well-oiled machine. It just didn’t follow the writing in the brochure which created a sense of adventure and gave my husband and I (both highly structured business owners back in the US) an opportunity to completely relinquish the sense of control, time and expectations, which was exhilarating.
Owner’s Note: for traveler safety, cultural nuances, etc., nomadic families are allowed to modify trips in accordance with local requirements. We try to elaborate on this on our website, brochures, social media accounts, emails, training workshops, etc., so I’m not sure why it’s considered to be a surprise – we have to ensure that our operations DON’T overly interfere with nomadic culture and lifestyles. We as foreigners need to learn how to become apart of different cultures/societies rather than trying to impose our western methodologies onto foreign cultures.
Lastly, on hiking. Of the 9 days, we only hiked from yurt to yurt 4 times. One time we went by horse (I’ve never been on one, so the idea was initially nerve wrecking but it all worked out – the host held my horse’s rains the entire way). Four times we went on a back of a motorbike and learned that riding one through a steppe is one of the most fun experiences you’ll ever have. For those of you who are like us and were looking forward to the long hiking days listed in the itinerary, fear not. You can easily get plenty of hiking time after you arrive to next family (around 1pm or so). There are clear cattle paths that you can follow and make up for the kilometers you’ve expected.
Owner’s Note: indeed there are tons of trekking and explorations that everyone can conduct as you will be using your nomadic gers as “base camps”. For the avid explore this is truly going to be a “brilliant experience” however for the typical city-type of tourists – this is going to be a learning curve; however, we do train you and have maintained a 99% success rate! So there is not real reason to be overly worried 🙂
This trip truly will allow you to get to know Mongolia and Mongolians like no other and it will expand your view of the world and travel.
We intentionally try to keep this more “culturally authentic” by training foreigners to let go and learn the Mongol-ways instead of trying to force the Nomadic Families to overly adapted our western-ways… We are international field specialists with decades of out-in-the-field expertise, the last thing we’ll be doing is making a “Disneyland” experience… It’s not to say Disneyland is bad – it’s not as I do enjoy it myself as well – however, it’s not in the best interest of nomadic families NOR international travelers if we try to unethically force locals to adhere to such “entertainment parks” methodologies of customer service… instead we focus on Nomadic Cultural Service as one of our main training core components.
These are our lives, our life’s works, etc., that are on the line…
we kindly request all unethical special interest groups and/or people with racism/nationalistic/major-prejudice issues to please, kindly, find another tour operator.
Ensuring 100% Proper Comprehension
GER to GER’s 13 REPETITIVE VERIFICATIONS for ALL TRAVELERS
1. Online access to “what is GER to GER”, “how does GER to GER operate, etc.”
2. Online access to Information about the differences between “Humanitarian Reality Trips” and Packaged Trips
3. Online access to “Terms and Conditions” of Humanitarian Trips
4. Correspondences with GER to GER staff by emails; Q&A, etc.
5. Upon arrival in Mongolia – all travelers receive a mandatory 2 hour training workshop; introduction of Humanitarian Travel, What to expect, What not to Expect, Mongolian History, Mongolian Culture, Rural Health and Safety, and Mongolian Language
6. At the workshops all travelers are updated with current weather, culture, etc., information that may influence their trip and are informed rural nomads have the “power” to change the trip when necessary; transparently listed on the Terms and Conditions owing to their lifestyles.
7. At the workshops all travelers are educated the difference between “cultural service” vs. “customer service” and so much more to ensure that they are fully aware that they are traveling as humanitarians and not as “tourists” on a vacation.
8. At the workshops all travelers AGAIN review Humanitarian Trip’s Terms and Conditions
9. At the workshops all travelers review GER to GER disclaimer with Instructors
10. At the workshops all travelers are provide an opportunity to change their trip/minds
11. At the workshops all travelers CAREFULLY REVIEW AND SIGN the “Assumption of Risk Contract” that includes weather, culture, lifestyle, 3rd Party Suppliers, etc., in relation to Humanitarian Trip’s Terms and Conditions; on website, handbook, etc.
12. After signing the Assumption of Risk Contract all travelers make final payments
13. After contract signing, workshop and payments – all travelers are invited to contact us again for further info clarifications prior/during their Reality Humanitarian Trip (via nomadic families mobile phones).