The way we work
Ecotour aspires to avoid the negative effects on the environment as often caused by tourism. That is why we are against mass tourism. In our yurt camps, only small groups of maximum 8 persons can enjoy their holiday. Moreover, small groups stimulate communication between the natives and the guests. Therefore, it often occurs that new friendships emerge or that interpreters are invited to Europe to continue their studies or to work as au pair.
Transportation by car is reduced to a minimum; we strive to drive as little as possible, if possible only from one yurt camp to the next one. To further reduce environmental damage, waste is collected and plastic is recycled.
Beside the environment, we have our people at heart. To us it is important to prevent socio-cultural change as often observed in touristically exploited regions. Ecotour will not organize pretended folklore shows where Kyrgyz sing and dance for tourists. At long term, such manifestations are disgraceful for the people and only serve the profit of the organisations.
Mostly men and women from the nearest village work in our yurt camps and the guides come from the regions where they work. By this, we have created directly at least 80 jobs in the countryside.
Our interpreters usually study English, or finished their study of English at the University of Bishkek. Most of them come from the Issyk-Kul region. By offering them a job as interpreter, they are given the opportunity to improve their foreign language skills and - at the same time - to earn some money during the summertime. For this purpose, they are instructed in guiding techniques. This applies for the drivers as well, and they need to have some knowledge of first aid.
Also indirectly, sources of income for the people are created, because
most of the yurts are rented,
we rent the horses,
we lease the land on which the yurt camps are located,
all kinds of fresh food as meat, vegetables or dairy products are bought on the spot,
Kymyz, the national drink, is bought at the herdsmen's yurts.
In various villages felt products are offered. We helped women in different villages to start women's cooperation’s to produce felt articles, who jointly manufacture felt products, traditional as well as modern, and sell these in their own showroom.
The activities of Ecotour make the rural population susceptible to environmental subjects. In this course, we were able to stop illegal poaching in the areas concerned.
In addition, people discover nature, their environment as a valuable treasure that needs protection. Also because it can be a source of income for them.
Kyrgyzstan is economically a poor country. Thanks to the enormous support of its guests, Ecotour was enabled to provide money and goods for useful humanitarian purposes. These contributions range from the distribution of clothes to the poorest of the poor, supply of schoolbooks and computers for the schools of Tuura-Suu and Kara-Talaa, reading books for the library of Temir Kanat, to the purchase of cattle for poor families.