EVERY TRIP PURCHASE MAKES A POSITIVE 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., via exploitation reviews/fake reviews to damage the alternative incomes of nomadic families and lessen the lack of market distinction between responsible and irresponsible as everyone claims to be ‘responsible’. Hence, GERtoGER is actively using UN SDGs to clearly highlight and define “the Successes” of our ‘Responsible Tourism’ methodologies and thoroughly distinguish ourselves methodologically from those that desire to use our image (positively and/or negatively) to unethically take incomes away from Mongolia’s nomadic families’ “Live Like a Local” Experiences:

  • SDG 1 – NO POVERTY:  80% of Humanitarian Trips’ finances (“Live Like a Local Experiences”) 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 (www.Zanjan-Fromer.com) 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.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCES

empathy is the key component to travel

 

Please keep up to date on how External Influences do indeed greatly impact the stability of Mongolia’s Nomadic Families… “Being a Good Human” instead of a demanding tourist is a key component towards sustainable social economic development…

We should all try to be a little better than what we were yesterday.

GER to GER is 100% COMMITTED

(United Nations Sustainable Development Goals)

To Social Economic Development

Ger to Ger’s multi-prong approach (human, social economics, environment) towards development ensures rural community mobilization, non-exploitation, gender empowerment, innovation, and more. Today, GER to GER’s Humanitarian Trips (Live Like a Local) are 100% managed, led, operated and outsourced by rural inhabitants:

  • Nomadic families (human resource, cultural resource, horses, camels, livestock, etc.)
  • Rural community human resources (drivers, guides, facilitators, etc.)
  • Rural accommodations
  • Food and drink (rural shops, hotels, nomadic families, etc.)
  • Rural transportation (buses, jeeps, cars, etc.)

To Protecting the Environment
(Climate Change)

Before this initiative began in June 2005, great consideration towards environmental conservation had been taken and incorporated into its daily operational design. By incorporating public transportation, limiting rural vehicle usage, and mainly relying on nomadic forms of transportation between nomadic families over wide geographic ranges and etc., greatly reduces our carbon footprint.

  • 100% of GER to GER’s Humanitarian Trips have incorporated both public transportation and rural vehicle-pooling.
  • 99% of GER to GER’s Humanitarian Trips use rural village vehicles for drop off/pick up from points on a travel route; 1 or 2 exceptions.
  • Over 99% of traveling time from Ger to Ger – locals incorporate environmentally friendly travel practices such as walking, trekking, horses, ox carts, etc.
  • Over 95% of Ger to Ger’s nomadic families use either fallen wood and/or animal dung for heating their Yurt and making food.
  • Over 99% of all Ger to Ger’s nomadic families that have access to electricity generate it via solar panel or wind instead of fuel burning generators.

KNOW WHAT GOES INTO A PRICE

what will $100 US Dollars buy you in Mongolia and how will it benefit the locals?

Case Study Parameters: ONLY 1 Person with ONLY $100 USD

Note: This “approximation” comparison chart of what you could buy with only $100 USD is being provided to show the reality of travel in Mongolia and abroad (prices may vary up/down depending on additional factors). Whereas cheap hostels/operators can provide you with transport, guide and some fuel – they are not able to extend their services to include food/drinks, accommodations, nomadic visitations, cultural experiences, etc., into their budgets; hence, they have to pack you and many others into 1 vehicle in order to taxi you around the country without quality cultural experiences, food, accommodations, etc., when price is set at $100. Berlin/EU offer is just a little better as they can  accommodate you for 1 day with some food… HOWEVER, GER to GER’s offers is INDEED the best offer as it includes everything (food, drinks, guides, culture, etc.) not for 1 day but for 2 days along a nearby “Live Like a Local” program (nomadic Geotourism/Humanitarian Works  – not GER to GER’s fully packaged trips). 

LEVEL OF EFFORT (LOE)  MADE TOWARDS LOCALS

No local benefits from $100

15+ years of benefiting locals with up to 80% of Trips’ Costs

No local benefits from $100

Minimal local benefits from $100

0.5/5
5/5
0.5/5
1.5/5

Expectations, Reality and Getting the Most from your Mongolia Travels

Written by Mr. Zanjan Fromer of GERtoGER.org Mongolia – NATGEO Geotourism Ambassador

Here’s my humble opinion based upon 24+ years of living and working among Mongols across Mongolia.

1. Traveling with Nomadic Families via Community Based Tourism “Living Like a Local” (GER to GER’s Humanitarian Works)

Straight to the point, Mongolia is an exceptional travel destination rich in lifestyles, geographic terrains and incredibly important contributions towards human history that requires “learning”, yes “learning”. Those that are experienced outback travelers (Alaskan bush, Australian outback, etc.) automatically, though only partially, qualify you to travel rurally with nomadic families – you will still require some training… take the aforementioned skills/experiences coupled with firsthand knowledge of working, traveling and living with remote cultures (expect the unexpected, compassion, allow for locals to change-up plans, go with the flow, etc.) is what is 100% necessary to have an incredibly authentic “Mongolian Experience”. Reason – it’s indeed who the Mongols are: Mongols are flexible with time/experiences, they love to modify plans on the go, they often wait till the last moment to get stuff done, they’re hospitable, they take care of one another as a tribe, they don’t expect anyone to have expectations, they assume all travelers are like them – easy going, not judgmental, cooperatively overcoming challenges together, not overly demanding, able to take it easy without tons of entertainment to distract them, can calmly sip tea and chat for hours or just sit and enjoy the family environ, never really looking at their watches or staring at their iPhones, etc. Yes, traveling Mongolia is a complete break from our western/European lives of expectations, demands, standards, punctuality, etc. This sort of travel with nomadic families and its incredible cultural adventures, remote geographic terrains and “lifestyle learning by living it” should never be confused with Packaged Trips that are more about “entertainment travel”, punctuality, following the itinerary, etc.
 

2. Traveling Mongolia via Packaged Trips (Tour Operations)

If the aforementioned makes you nervous as you are really accustomed to ‘western-European’ standards of travel and you have tons of expectations that must be fulfilled (punctuality, activities, entertainment, distances, etc.)… then going on a “Packaged Trip” is the best thing to do when in Mongolia. Keep in mind that you pay for what you get and so do the locals… What does that mean? If an itinerary is super cheap, many days, covering incredible distances then most likely that operator isn’t “ethical” and people are not getting paid fairly, etc. It’s difficult to tell you exactly how to judge a company or itinerary and whether or not you are purchasing a “tourism sweat shop product” or not – however – I will give this sound advice. Ethical Packaged Trips in Mongolia will not be cheap, they will be fairly priced – the more expensive often means better vehicles, better guides, better camps, better food, and hopefully people are being paid fairly well too. Packaged Trips that are being sold exceptionally cheap require a little bit of research – how many days?, what’s included?, what level of services are being provided?, what accommodations are you using?, etc. Reason being – if you book a trekking trip and you are camping all the time without vehicle/animal support then that will be definitively cheaper than standard overland packaged trips (vehicles, fuel, camps, entertainment, etc.). Now keep in mind that Mongols love putting on a good show of hospitality – so when you are tired and exhausted – always be kind to your local Mongols as they are raised from childhood to always be of assistance until they physically are unable too. Yes, everyone gets weak, sick and tired on longer expeditions (clients, guides, drivers, etc.), hence, traveling in Mongolia you must travel with a “team mentality” and not too touristic like with high demands and expectations “everyone SERVE me”; remember, you are out there in remote locations and that’s just the reality so “take care” of each other. Being a good human in Mongolia will take you far and guarantees a successful experience regardless of the challenges – in most cases – Mongols will definitely treat you better than you expect when you show them some kindness.
 

Conclusions

Mongolia isn’t like other parts of Asia, USA nor Europe – it does require some knowledge and the willingness to learn flexibly on the go (don’t challenge people’s knowledge, etc., like as if you were on a western-European trip testing the quality of your guide, etc… these are locals who are “currently” in development and are indeed trying). I will definitively state that you will at times be required to be understanding as not everything will go as planned and that’s the beauty of ole style expeditions in developing countries – you expect the unexpected and go with the flow – and often it’s rewarding with very unique memories that will stay with you for years as it’s not the same as your “standard” trip nor vacation to Hawaii and/or across the EU… I highly encourage everyone to tone down your expectations, don’t be overly punctual/measure distances, but rather enjoy this rare moment in history – soon enough Mongolia will end up like every other destination on planet earth that’s been destroyEd by the tourism industry with the same boring format of tourism that everyone “expects”. That will be a sad day as Mongolia’s uniqueness to the global tourism industry is indeed its raw flavor of ole styled, locally adapted, genuine travel experiences and more – our learning “how to unlearn” – which is not at all common within our western/European sanitized approaches will be lost forever. Mongolia gives you the right amount of “mystery” which is the essence of “unlearning our standards” regardless if you choose to travel with nomadic families via community based tourism and/or fully packaged trips with tour operators (keep in mind that generally what people think is Mongolia’s weakness is its incredible strength as it’s ole styled expeditions something not readily available around the world – EU, USA, etc.). Mongols have a saying “Ezen Hecheevel, Zaya Hecheen” translation “If the Master tries, Destiney shall try” – Mongols will definitely try and at times they will succeed and at other times we must meet them halfway and go with the flow; you will quickly see how the Mongols will start praising you as a “Good Guest”.

SEE WHAT “INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS” HAVE EXPERIENCED AND WRITTEN SINCE 2005 ONWARDS

World’s Innovative Travel Entrepreneurs to Gather at National Geographic to Share Geotourism Success
Ger to Ger Goes for Gold in Mongolia; With two wins under its belt in the Ashoka’s Changemakers 2009 Geotourism Challenge: Power of Place – Sustaining the Future of Destinations, Ger to Ger – the self-styled ‘market-driven social enterprise’ based in Mongolia – is definitely doing something right. Founded in 2005 by Mr Zanjan Fromer, a native Alaskan with extensive experience in tourism and development, Ger to Ger has in a few short years managed to generate the kind of buzz for which many similar enterprises earnestly and sometimes vainly strive.
"MONGOLIA CAMPING"
GER to GER GEOTOURISM MONGOLIA: 2006 Official Country Partner of the CBS’s The Amazing Race: S10 E2; An Emmy and Directors Guild Award Winning Season.
GER to GER Geotourism Mongolia | Rough Guides and GERtoGER
"Meet the locals – how to immerse yourself on your travels"; A typical day on a trip with Ger to Ger, a non-profit organization that promotes grassroots tourism development, starts with a journey on horse or oxcart from the ger where you spent the night onto your next resting post. The rest of the day is spent doing what your new hosts do.
"MONGOLIA PRACTICES SUSTAINABLE TOURISM"
GERtoGER.org is featured in the TOP 12 GLOBAL DESTINATIONS for honeymoons - the story is now featured in New York Magazine's 2018 biannual Weddings issue and is now live online. 
"PLACES OF INTEREST IN MONGOLIA"
"TRAVELING RESPONSIBLY" - PAGE 31 (SLIDE 13)

GO LOCAL, 

GIVE LOCAL

“A truly Mongolian experience”
– Trip Advisor Review

“If you want to get an idea of what traditional life in Mongolia is like while also staying off the beaten track, this is the place to book a tour. I did a three day tour in the Middle Gobi region and a 6-day tour in Bulgan Province. I stayed in Mongolia near the end of april, which is a good time temperature-wise. Both tours greatly exceeded my expectations, as did the service provided by GerToGer…”

“…I thoroughly enjoyed staying with these people and want to thank GerToGer. These tours were the best combination of feeling safe (knowing you can always call them in case of emergency) and experiencing something real and unique. Definitely a highlight of my travels, you can’t miss this if you are visiting Mongolia!”

Dr. Carmen Rohrbach
Ms. Carmen Rohrhach traveled with Mr. Fromer of GER to GER; Ms. Rohrbach's last "Mongolei" book featured GER to GER

German Travel Writers Explore GER to GER