TERMS, CONDITIONS and RESPONSIBLE TOURISM POLICY – subject to updates
(GERtoGER.org‘s Global Operations with Worldwide Partners)
Pre-Trip 13 Verifications – Client Suitability & Proper Comprehension
- Online access to “what is Responsible.Tours”, “how does Responsible.Tours operate, etc.”
- Online access to Information about the differences between “Humanitarian Reality Trips” and Packaged Trips.
- Online access to “Terms and Conditions” of Humanitarian Trips.
- Correspond with Responsible.Tours staff by emails or in-person; Q&A, etc.
- Upon arrival in countries – most travelers receive a mandatory 2+ hour training workshop, unless local agent trains travelers along the way as apart of the experience. Example for Mongolia – Humanitarian Workshops Cover: contracts; terms and conditions; liabilities; assumption of risks; humanitarian 101; outback to international social economic supply/value chain analysis and mapping; country info; history and important highlights; customer vs. cultural service; DOs and DON’Ts; cultural and cross-cultural analysis/studies; nomadic lifestyle; “Leave No Trace Travel” – environmental protection; activity health/safety – horseback, trekking, etc.; wildlife awareness – wolves, snakes, insects, etc.; extreme situational “survival 101” in relation to weather, terrains, navigation (sun, terrain, vegetation, geographical terrain vectoring, etc.), physical, mental and medical; risk mitigation/management; emergency COMMs methodology; itinerary confirmation; language; and more.).
- At the workshop all travelers are updated with current weather, culture, etc., information that may influence their trip and are informed rural nomads have the “power” to change the trip when necessary; transparently listed on the Terms and Conditions owing to their lifestyles.
- At the workshop all travelers are educated the difference between “cultural service” vs. “customer service” and so much more to ensure that they are fully aware that they are traveling as humanitarians and not as “tourists” on a vacation.
- At the workshop all travelers AGAIN review Humanitarian Trip’s Terms and Conditions.
- At the workshop all travelers review Responsible.Tours disclaimer with Instructors.
- At the workshop all travelers are provide an opportunity to change their trip/minds.
- At the workshop all travelers CAREFULLY REVIEW AND SIGN the “Assumption of Risk Contract” that includes weather, culture, lifestyle, 3rd Party Suppliers, etc., in relation to Humanitarian Trip’s Terms and Conditions; on website, handbook, etc.
- After signing the Assumption of Risk Contract all travelers make final payments.
- After contract signing, workshop and payments – all travelers are invited to contact us again for further info clarifications prior/during their Reality Humanitarian Trip (via nomadic families, rural communities, etc., mobile phones, etc.).
Payment Notes: 35% Advance Deposit (of total trip’s amount) + Round Trip Domestic Flights or transportation to locations when applicable (Example Alaska: short flights in-between Anchorage and McGrath) shall be made online to secure trip/departure dates. The remaining payments shall be paid in person upon arrival either by local currency or via VISA card. VISA Card Note: if paying via VISA, depending on a given country’s bank policies – there might be a small additional bank fee that must be added on to payment for VISA card usages that the client is responsible to pay for – this bank fee is averagely 3% though may differ. If/when this doesn’t apply, clients shall not be charged any additional fees; otherwise cash is easier especially when certain foreign VISA/MASTER Cards do not work properly in other foreign countries – clients are responsible to verify, in advance, if their VISA Cards will work properly.
All clients shall initially make the Advance Deposits via National Geographic Society recognized GERtoGER.org‘s secured online payment systems; GERtoGER.org is both domestically and internationally audited with numerous international accolades spanning over a decade from UNESCAP, National Geographic, The Mongolian Government (2nd Highest Medal of Honor), and more. Responsible.Tours/Responsible-Tours.org is GERtoGER.org‘s “global operations platform”, a Government approved, certified AND audited inbound/outbound tour operator that may legally conduct “global operations”. GERtoGER.org shall receive your booking requests to which an email with the deposit amount and online bank link will be sent to the client to easily/securely make the online payments. GERtoGER.org has over 12+ years of operational experience with over 6,000+ international travelers from around the world.
1. Responsible.Tours “Packaged Trips” and/or “Tour Operator”
(if marked as “Humanitarian Trip” then please refer to Article 2)
- All “Packaged Trips” are the responsibility of Responsible.Tours Office
- All “Packaged Trips” shall adhere to service standards
- Please contact Responsible.Tours at info@Responsible.Tours to further obtain any information pertaining to your “Packaged Trip”
2. COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM TERMS, CONDITIONS & NOTES
(clearly marked as “Humanitarian Trip”, “Community Based Tourism”, “Reality Travel” or “Homestay”)
- Please continuously refer to Responsible.Tours’s Online Terms and Conditions as they are subject to change in accordance with best fair/ethical practices to ensure the health/safety of all parties WHEN CONSIDERING any/all external influences that impacts routes/itineraries (weather, culture, lifestyles, livestock, vehicles, traffic, public bus schedule changes, roads, locals, communities, etc.); travelers, nomads, rural drivers, any Responsible.Tours staff.
- Any/all updates made to Responsible.Tours’s Terms, Conditions and Policies shall be made when Responsible.Tours Administration deems/feels it is necessary.
- Any/all online Terms and Conditions (online/offline) are Policy; you may seek clarification ONLY from Responsible.Tours Founders (Ms. Yalalt and Mr. Fromer).
- Any/all provided explanations about Responsible.Tours (operations, itineraries, methods, etc.) provided in emails, verbal, training workshops, etc., are all/shall be Policy; Responsible.Tours (Ms. Yalalt and Mr. Fromer) reserves the Right to verbally or by written methods “Clarify” any/all Terms, Conditions and Policies if misunderstanding arise – those clarifications are Policy regardless of delivery method.
- By voluntarily signing Responsible.Tours’s Contract/Assumption of Risk Contract YOU HAVE AGREED to these conditions that any/all of Responsible.Tours’s Online/Offline Terms, Conditions and Policies (written or verbal) are ALL legally binding.
First and foremost – Responsible Travel Notes:
- All Humanitarian Trips and/or Homestays are 100% “Reality Trips” that are managed and operated by locals and nomadic families; Responsible.Tours Office operates ONLY AS A Humanitarian “Travel Agent” for communities (non-tour operator).
- Responsible.Tours humanitarian trips is about “Reality” – real families, real lifestyles, real situation, etc. (who are the Mongols? And not about our expectations).
- Responsible.Tours humanitarian trips are not an amusement park experience – it’s about awareness/respecting nomadic lifestyle and learning “their ways” (not ours), etc.
- Responsible.Tours is an opportunity for people to learn how to integrate within other cultures vs. other cultures catering to our international norms and standards that we have become overly accustomed too and demand others to adhere too (like paid entertainment slaves).
- Responsible.Tours has already generated over a Million USD towards Mongolia’s social economic development via supply-chain synergies and provides over 80% of its revenues toward rural nomadic families that greatly need this alternative income source.
Humanitarian Explorations (Community Based Tourism Routes – Budget Trips, Homestay Trips, Special Interest Trips and Winter Trips) “Budget Trips”; these “cross-cultural exchange” trips also providing locals a great opportunity to learn about the greater tourism industry, foreign cultures, generate income, etc. Though locals have produced their own itineraries, it’s important to remember that nomadic families lifestyle’s are guided by seasons, weather, culture, etc., and at different times those external influences requires them to alter itinerary experiences based on “Life & Survival” (the alteration may be an unplanned adventure or amazing cultural insight!) – a good level empathy and understanding are required if you desire to grasp the most of these type of trips. It is Responsible.Tours’s Methodology to develop a country/local people friendly “Free-Ranging” approach to community based tourism and not a strict “Public Zoo” approach nor “Captivity-Tourism” in respect to locals, their day to day lifestyles and cultures; Primary – Natural Lifestyle; Secondary – Community Based Tourism.
Rest assured that Responsible.Tours prepares all travelers to become Ethnographic Explorers via a “Mongolia Responsible Travel Training Workshop” in order to enable everyone to seek cultural/life-experiences that are not written on standard itineraries to enrich their exploration opportunities. Responsible.Tours specialists are multi-practice experts with decades of experiences, 100s if not 1000s of “out-in-the-field” projects, in developing countries; it is only for passion for social economic development that we share our knowledge, experiences and know-how with our clients and communities. Responsible.Tours’s Community Based Tourism Routes are the “Real Deal” – real experts prepare you, real nomadic families host and guide you, real cultural explorations and adventures await you.
2.1 Importance Notice: You, the traveler, are 100% Responsible for Comprehending the Differences Between “Reality Trips” and “Packaged Trips”
Please kindly note of all the differences between “Humanitarian Trips are Reality” (Traveler’s are 100% Responsible for Quality of Experience – just like as if you are a ‘Humanitarian’ out in the field; as Responsible.Tours Staff is not onsite – you are contracting a “Humanitarian Experience with Locals” not a “Tourist Packaged Trip with Responsible.Tours”) and “Packaged Trips” (Responsible.Tours’s Responsibility). If you feel that you require higher level of services/facilities, then it’s recommended that you have a look at our “Packaged Trips” and offers – they are an exceptional blend of everything.
2.2 Expectations, Contracts and Ethics
Responsible.Tours strongly discourages any/all travelers from booking a “Reality Humanitarian Trip” and then demanding/expecting “Packaged Trip” standards/services/quality from the locals unethically. Humanitarian Trips are Research Trips, not a Packaged Vacations.
Contractually, every traveler signs a contract and receives a proper training workshop on how to “Become a Humanitarian”, so it is 100% unethical and a breach of contract to public defame nomadic families and/or Responsible.Tours Office/Staff as if one is judging a situation like a “Vacation Trip”. These Reality Humanitarian Trips are not designed to be ‘entertainment tours’ but rather Reality Humanitarian Research Trips that are 100% subject to modification by locals and/or Responsible.Tours Office in consultation with locals (weather, culture, life, etc.). Mr. Zanjan Fromer and his administrative staff have well over 20+ years of ‘out in the field’ expertise (www.Zanjan-Fromer.com) and and likewise do not desire to be subjected to unethical public defamation by scammers, trolls, saboteurs, unethical competitors, special interest groups, and the like.
All transportation is either State Public Bus and/or rural vehicles (to keep the costs low) – Responsible.Tours earns NO overhead income via Budget Trip’s transportation services (State Public Bus and/or rural transportation); hence, as Responsible.Tours ONLY provides basic recommendations and assistance with ticket booking – Responsible.Tours assumes NO transportation related liabilities whatsoever.
3. IMPORTANT NOTES – PLEASE READ
Owing to over a decade of operating experiences and some ‘very unethical characters/interest groups and countless fraudulent activities’ that have tried to hinder Responsible.Tours – we are officially providing our TERMS, CONDITIONS AND NOTES online as part of our TRANSPARENCY PROTECTION POLICY (for all parties). Responsible.Tours hopes and desires not to upset anyone rather we hope that it will prove to you and the industry that we take these matters seriously and we have worked tirelessly on a Proactive Approach as a Preventive Methodology in order to filter the “Good Travelers” from the unethical “Scammers/Saboteurs” and the “1% Unethical Interest Groups” (many humanitarian organizations have them). There is nothing worse than having to spend years cleaning up fake reviews/defamations during which nomadic families, communities, and our Ulaanbaatar Office has to unethically suffer both socially and economically (hence, scammers are kindly requested to travel elsewhere).
- All trips, except Packaged Trips, are 100% rurally operated, managed and are subject to changes without informing Responsible.Tours main office (travel agent), by locals themselves, if it pertains to maintaining the health and safety of travelers, nomadic families, animals, etc.
- All community based tourism trips, with the aforementioned in mind, are designed to be “Free-Ranging” Products/Services that focuses on human/animals in their natural environments instead of a Theme-Park Zoo approach.
- All community based tourism trips require both effort and empathy as rural communities and nomadic families are just starting to learn and it will indeed take most rural locations several decades (a couple generations) till they truly begin to grasp the concepts of international standards and practices.
- All trips, except Packaged Trips, may be subject to change pending local traditions and cultural nuances of the region and/or families; i.e., some mountains do not allow women to climb them, on some days there are important local rites that must be observed, etc.
- All community based tourism “Reality Humanitarian Trips”, to lower trip costs, refer travelers to both State Public Bus and rural single service providers (rural drivers/vehicles). As Responsible.Tours earns $0.00 company income on any rural transportation for Budget Trips, Responsible.Tours is not liable for any aspect of transportation as they are ONLY recommendations and referrals. Travelers, maintain the right to organize their own transportation – Responsible.Tours ONLY PROVIDES THIS IN-KIND SERVICE TO BE OF ASSISTANCE as booking tickets can be complicated to the travelers. If a Traveler decides to organize their own transportation – AT NO TIME is Responsible.Tours liable NOR shall be held financially/logistically liable; if a Traveler got the wrong ticket, missed the bus/marine vessel/flight/etc., or tickets were sold out, etc., Responsible.Tours shall not refund any portion of the missed-trip as Responsible.Tours FREELY OFFERS THIS IN-KIND SERVICE.
- For Reality Humanitarian Trips, Responsible.Tours shall ONLY assist with 1) State Transportation Authority (public bus, etc.) and 2) linkages to rural drivers. Absolutely no transportation related earnings/income is maintained by Responsible.Tours or any of it’s staff, hence, Responsible.Tours is not liable for quality of such services however we do our best to voluntarily monitor the quality.
- Advance deposits made for ANY TRIPS via Responsible.Tours’s website, online banking, transfers, in-person, etc., are non-refundable (non-negotiable).
- At NO TIME is Responsible.Tours NOR any/all rural communities liable for travel related “wear and tear” of backpacks, suitcases, etc.
- ANY criminal-related activities (whether it be carried out by the traveler, nomads, drivers, etc.) i.e. stealing, fraud, defamation, etc., shall be properly handed-over to legal authorities as Responsible.Tours office and its staff are not on-site as witnesses and Responsible.Tours DOES NOT OPERATE ON “HE SAID/SHE SAID” in accordance with Domestic and International Laws. Jurisdiction for any/all domestic legal offenses are handled within the territory of Mongolia; when legal evidence exist that supports the Victim (whomever that may be) – any and all online defamation, fraud, etc., to sabotage/spin-doctor the Victim and his/her case shall be pursued in accordance with INTERNATIONAL Rights, Best Practices, Laws, Jurisdictions and their Respective Law Enforcement Agencies (USA/EU).
- ANY/ALL ORGANIZED CROSS-BORDER (UNETHICAL INTEREST GROUPS RELATED) STALKING, WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES, HARASSMENT, DEFAMATION, DEFRAUD, ETC., OF DOMESTIC/INTERNATIONAL GER TO GER HUMANITARIANS SHALL BE PROVIDED AS “TIPS” TO INTERNATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES (USA/EU).
4. Responsible.Tours CANCELLATION and REFUNDS
- In the unlikely case that we have to make changes to your travel arrangements, we will notify you at the earliest possible date.
- If you wish to cancel your booking you must inform us in written form.
- We do reserve the right to make changes at any time due to circumstances beyond our control.
- In the case of significant changes to your itinerary, you have the right to cancel your holiday in accordance with our Cancellation Terms and Conditions; refunds shall be awarded in accordance Terms and Conditions excluding deposit.
- Once we have started to provide our service i.e. from the point of your arrival on route, no refunds will be made for unused trip arrangements for any reason.
- There will be no refund given for unused home stay, meals, sightseeing, trek days or any other charges once the trip has commenced.
Client cancellation charges set out as follows:
- 7 days prior to the commencement date of the tour – 30% of total tour fare and
- 0% refund 1 day prior to trip and/or cancellation during a trip. However, depending on the merit of the cancellation Responsible.Tours, at its own decision, may investigate the situation and kindly offer refund of unused services. If a such a circumstance arises, Responsible.Tours will transfer funds to the client’s account. Responsible.Tours will not make refunds without proper investigation as legal contract with rural service providers exist and all paper works must be properly processed.
This process can only be initiated upon an official complaint give in written form to Manager or Director to which a meeting appointment will be confirmed for a later date – Responsible.Tours will not make appointments to meet at the time of complaint submissions as an initial rural investigation has to be started prior to any meetings so that any/and all meetings are fair and objective.
After review of all facts Responsible.Tours will ONLY offer refunds based on internal policy and economic formulas. Responsible.Tours DOES NOT OFFER POST-TRIP REFUNDS BASED UPON ONLY 1 PARTY’S STATEMENTS NOR ON ‘HEARSAY’ (HE SAID/SHE SAID); ALL REFUNDS ARE AWARDED ONLY AFTER A PROPER INVESTIGATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ANTI-FRAUD/ANTI-DEFRAUD POLICES.
5. Responsible.Tours Reserves the Right
Responsible.Tours RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE AND/OR CANCEL TRIPS OF UNETHICAL TRAVELERS, UNETHICAL INTEREST GROUPS, UNETHICAL SABOTEURS (SCAMMERS, HARASSMENT, ETC.), ETC., AT ANY TIME DEEMED NECESSARY, WITHOUT REFUND, TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS, NOMADIC FAMILIES, RURAL COMMUNITIES AND RESPONSIBLE.TOURS’S HUMANITARIANS/WORLDWIDE PARTNERS.