As a company, we call ourselves ‘manaikhan’ which translates from Mongolian loosely into ‘ours’ or ‘our people.’ Essentially, we’re a family – with all the same stresses, strains and disagreements that all families experience. But, then, also, the support, the unity and the strength that a family can bring as well.
For those that know Mongolia, you’ll know that it experiences four very distinct seasons … with peak season typically being summer although this extends from late May through to early October. After October, as the temperatures drop and early winter takes over from late autumn, tourism in Mongolia also starts to decrease.
As a social travel enterprise, we look at the bigger picture – rather than just focusing on achieving maximum profit. We never wanted to compete directly with our competitors many of whom just focus on trying and capturing an ever bigger slice of the market. We are comfortable with not trying to be all things to all people. To say this is us. This is what we stand for. This is what we believe in. And, as a business working in tourism, we believe that we should use tourism to help to create positive social change in Mongolia.
We’re proud of our commitment to making a positive difference in Mongolia and a steady community commitment bubbles behind the scenes. For us, low season in Mongolia is the time we invest most time in our beloved team by focusing on their skills development so they can advance further – therefore bringing opportunity to them and increasing the spread of our benefits earned as a business.
That’s how we started our free weekly low-season training and development school. As part of the same responsible tourism philosophy mentioned above all our trip assistants (guides) are Mongolian women. However, on purpose, we don’t source the best female guides that work the tourism circuit and that already have guaranteed work with other companies. Instead, we invest and provide free training, development and employment opportunities to Mongolian women that want to work in tourism but other companies won’t take as they don’t fit the stereotype or don’t have the professional qualifications. We know the personal reasons as to why each member wants to work in tourism but whether they want a future in tourism doesn’t matter … what’s important are the personal reasons as to why and what they can bring to EL. As we say, we don’t invest in the best. Instead, we invest to allow others the chance to be the best they can be.
Rather than just a standard pre-season weekend training, we run our free weekly low-season training event at our office. It is social, informal, flexible and (hopefully) fun. As well as feedback and analysis there are language lessons, talks on subjects ranging from history to culture and religion to conservation. There are day trips to museums, the local projects we support or even winter festivals as well as the greatly anticipated end of year party.
So although we’re a small company we like to think we’re a company with values. We invite out guests to be part of a bigger travel philosophy and that’s why we reward any guests that choose to travel with us out of season a 15% discount pp. Why not join us?