Kyrgyz Guide’s mission is to enjoy the pristine and enchanting nature of Kyrgyzstan without polluting it, to present it to our guests by introducing them to the local population. At the same time our activities provide financial assistance to the local population, as well as informing about the negative consequences of pollution by numerous plastic wastes, which are becoming an environmental problem in Central Asia. Our principles are to conserve dwindling natural resources and conserve threatened biodiversity.
Our efforts were acknowledged, as in March 2022 we were recognised with a Travelife Partner Award. The Travelife Partner Award recognizes our commitment to social and environmental sustainability. We meet more than 100 criteria related to sustainability management, office operations, vendor relations and customer communications. We are working on further improvements to eventually reach the Travelife Certified stage.
Travelife is the leading training, management and certification initiative for sustainability-minded travel companies. Travelife is a three-step certification program for tour operators and travel agents: (1) Travelife Engaged; (2) Travelife Partner and (3) Travelife Certified. We are in the second stage – Travelife Partner. We are working to move to the third stage – Travelife Certified.
In the report below, we outline key measures implemented in 2021 to improve our company’s sustainability performance and meet our goals.
If you would like to learn more, read our sustainability policy and feel free to contact our Sustainability Manager Nuraly Turganbaev (firstname.lastname@example.org) with additional questions.
Our sustainability efforts of the past two years were supported by the Greentour project.
Caring for nature
Kyrgyz Guide actively seeks to reduce the negative impact of its tours and office operations on the environment:
Our goals include:
- Minimize the carbon footprint of tour products and office operations;
- Provide the office with renewable energy sources (in particular, solar panels);
- To eliminate the use of disposable plastic during tours and in the company office as much as possible;
These objectives were achieved through the following actions:
- We implemented electronic document management instead of printing, replaced all light bulbs with energy-saving alternatives, and introduced an energy-saving policy for all office equipment.
- We have provided appropriate sustainability training to staff aimed at phasing out disposable utensils and plastic in general;
- We implemented waste sorting in the office (glass, plastic, paper, batteries) and supported local container reuse initiatives by donating bottles back to local farmers for milk bottling.
- During the tours we minimized the use of vehicles, giving preference to horseback riding, walking and biking tours.
- We have minimized the use of plastic by offering tourists reusable dinnerware sets and encouraging them to avoid plastic water bottles.
- During the show with the golden eagle we abolished the practice of live hunting, showing only the birds themselves and talking about the hunt.
Our team organized cleaning of the pastures from the shepherds we cooperate with.
Caring for people and culture
Kyrgyz Guide strives to enrich the tourist experience with authentic experiences while benefiting the local community:
- Each tour included a visit to a monument, museum, church, etc. in order to ensure continued financial support to cultural heritage sites.
- As a company we support vulnerable segments of the local community by providing financial assistance causes we believe in – for example, we provided financial support of 200,000 soms to a family with many children who lost their breadwinner and helped them purchase a house in the At Bashi district.
- Tour products were developed and offered to help financially support local residents and introduce tourists to the culture and traditions of the region:
- We have included visits to concerts by a local folklore group in our tour products;
- We organized a gastronomic tour to Dungan families in Kochkor and Karakol, where guests were able to learn about the history of these communities.
- To promote and raise awareness of the traditional art of yurt making, we organized tours to the villages of Barskoon and Kyzyl Tuu in southern Issyk Kul, where artisans live.
- The company has provided fair working conditions and decent wages to porters participating in the tours.
Kyrgyz Guide is committed to raising awareness and advocating for sustainable tourism development in Kyrgyzstan. We do it through training and supporting our employees and engaging our partners in the area of sustainable development:
- Our staff and guides completed sustainable tourism training
- Sustainability became a regular element of discussions at our team meetings.
- We believe in the continuous development of our employees and suppliers, which is why we have organised various seminars, a European advanced training programme, a guide school as well as a series of trainings in the field of sustainable tourism.