Edelweiss Travel Tourism Sustainability Strategy
Our vision of the Tourism Sustainability strategy is to lead Kyrgyzstan to a sufficient level of sustainable and responsible tourism. Sustainability covers not only environmental but also community, visitor, and economic benefits. We focus not only on minimizing harm, but making a positive contribution so that tourism gives back more than it takes.
For the tourism industry to be sustainable – environmentally, socially, and economically – we must:
- Protect and enhance the environment and local communities on which tourism businesses depend
- Maintain and enhance support from local communities
- Ensure our customers have outstanding experiences with all their tourism activities
- To engage in the systematic development of tourist destinations, effective product development, and promotion and advertising work so as to create the opportunity to lengthen the tourist season, reduce seasonal fluctuations, and contribute to a better distribution of tourists throughout the country
- To enhance quality, professionalism, safety, and environmental awareness in the tourism sector
- To define and maintain Kyrgyzstan`s uniqueness as a tourist destination, in part through practical analysis and research
These main objectives of sustainable tourism depend on the following:
- Product development and innovation
Product development projects in the tourism sector will be based on green cluster ideology and on strategies reflecting the uniqueness of individual areas. New product development options will be sought with cluster collaboration and transfer of technology and knowledge with a preference for eco-friendliness and sustainability.
Tourism support systems shall be simplified, and it shall be ensured that strong units are in place throughout the country, with a professional backing and enough strength to support site development, product development, innovation, and marketing.
- Green Infrastructure
Kyrgyzstan’s natural surroundings are a natural resource for the tourism sector. It is important to develop, protect, and maintain tourist sites nationwide. The development of responsible tourism infrastructure shall aim at protecting nature, and the tourism strategy shall aim at incorporating the concepts of sustainability and responsibility for Kyrgyzstan’s culture and natural surroundings.
- Responsibility through surveys and research.
It is important that tourism development and enhancement be supported with increased emphasis on analysis, research, and forecasting. The national accounts shall always include statistical data on developments in the tourism sector from year to year. Best practice will be applied so as to ensure that coordinated, in-depth appraisals of nationwide tourism resources and infrastructure are carried out.
New options for international promotional work shall be sought, as will the means to increase the professional collaboration among local communities in the fields of product development and promotion, and advertising.
In formulating collaboration between the tourism business and local communities it is important that quantifiable objectives and metrics be established.
Metrics related to promotion and advertising include travel expenditures according to tourism accounts, foreign exchange revenues from foreign tourists, distribution of hotel bed-nights over seasons and geographical areas, the number of tourists, and surveys of tourists’ expectations and experience
OUR SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
- Paper consumption reduction. We print paper documents only upon request and when necessary. Used paper is meant to be recycled in special organizations in Kyrgyzstan. The company’s advertising materials are mostly designed in digital form.
- Plastic consumption reduction. During a tour program, we use reusable plastic items where necessary avoiding disposable plastic. At the start of a tour, our customers are provided with individual metallic bottles for personal use.
- Waste recycling policy. We use waste separation during the tours (dividing recyclable materials such as paper, glass, metal, etc.), and keep the waste till reaching big cities for consecutive recycling.
- Transport optimization policy. We cooperate only with experienced, licensed drivers completely devoted to the principles of safe driving (driving during daytime with breaks every 2 hours) with constant control of their driving performance and health condition. One of the principles of our driving policy is route optimization for the consecutive purposes of economizing the distances, fuel consumption, time and restricting air pollution.
- We tend to cooperate with local guides and personnel whereas possible within our local community support policy.
- We cooperate only with local accommodation facilities (hotels, guest houses, yurt camps, and so on) that run their operations operate in accordance with the operational standards of the Edelweiss company and are officially and legally registered and match the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic and meet the standards of technical condition and care about the environment.
- Within Edelweiss travel programs we protect the originality of local communities and aim at maximization of the positive impact and minimization of the negative impact on the environment and we are totally against harming and polluting nature and the environment.
- Edelweiss travel company does not involve any wildlife animals within its tours (excepting horse riding tours where the use of horses is strictly legally defined) nor cooperate with companies or individuals that exploit, consume or sell any species of wild animals.
- Regarding its horse riding tours Edelweiss travel company’s management cooperate only with reliable local suppliers whose reliability is proven by decades of successful and blameless cooperation conditioned by humane and responsible treatment towards horses and wildlife. We tend to ensure ourselves the suppliers’ horses are being kept in an appropriate way and are safe for customers.
- One of the important points of our strategy is a constant evaluation of offered services and application of the measures aimed to improve these services and products on the basis of feedback in form of surveys and research.