Winter in Russia holiday
Description of Winter in Russia holiday
2022: 14 Feb
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThe most part of the tour is happening in Pribaikalsky National Park Territory. This is a protected by government zone famous for its endemics (species which inhabit only here). As tour organizers we pay for each tourist fee which goes for territory’s infrastructure, security, and maintenance. The tour starts with the visit to Baikal Museum in Listvyanka, which main aim is to explain about the lake Baikal nature, endemics and promote caring attitude to environment. During the tour our guide additionally explain and emphasize the rules that we cannot take away plants or stones, anything natural; our interaction with animals is very careful and from aside; all litter from picnics we take away to the city.
The guide of this trip, Dmitry, was involved in activities of NGO Great Baikal Trail and participated in several grands from Forest Service USA; later on he had an educational trip from German Ministry of Natural Resources with the program Klaus Toepfer Fellowship. In our tours he pays attention and create interest around lake Baikal, it’s issues. In his opinion the biggest environmental issues of this territory are litter, waste from locals and tourists, anthropogenic factors, lack of infrastructure.
Before and after the visit during communication with our tourists we propose them to donate to various NGOs of Baikal which solve those issues. Among them are NGO Great Baikal Trail and NGO My Baikal. First one is building the eco-trail around Baikal; the second one is solving the problem of litter around Baikal, their recent project is the online shop, where one can buy the waste taken out from Baikal, its price is count by ecologist who measured the harm this piece of letter brought to the environment.
PeopleDuring our tour we employ local guides, drivers, work with local suppliers, eat in local cafes, have a drink in local bars. We see it as a support to our community and as a true way to dive into a local life, find out about culture and people. During our first night in Irkutsk we will hop on some local bars for a drink, some traditional Siberian spirits or non-alcoholic equivalents. All the way you will be accompanied by our local guide.
We respect original local traditions. For example, there is a tradition to tie a ribbon to let gods and wind read prayers for you. In past it wasn’t so massive, but now when all tourists do that it actually kills trees with the number of ribbons tied, trees cannot breath. So we ask our tourists not to follow this massive already touristy tradition and make it only if special pillars from iron are in place where you can leave the ribbon. Another invented tradition is that tourists make pyramids from stones repeating rituals for old gods, usually they were made on graves. But again, tourists started to make it everywhere without special reason and intention, thought or idea. Moreover stones are places where different species inhabit and taking them out of ground is no good for them. Especially on Olkhon island where we spend 3 days of the tour, stones are the place of fieldmice which are disappearing specie right now on the island. So, we explain the old tradition, why local people were making these pyramids, where and with which purposes and we ask tourists not to make them and explain why.
With all above mentioned we show tourists how to respect old local traditions and not to follow mass harmful trends.
In the beginning of the tour, we visit Taltsy open air museum, where many old traditions of local peoples are shown. And many of them can be tried in activities, we like coming there, because it is a real chance to get back in time machine and try something people used to do before, without creating artificial things in real nature.
Sure we support local craftsmen and artisans, there are small local souvenir stores in Irkutsk and area, where we bring our guests. And we always pay tourists’ attention to local goods and stories of artisans.