AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Mountain Kingdoms Sustainability

Mountain Kingdoms

Our sustainable Tourism Vision

At Mountain Kingdoms we are committed to Responsible Tourism through policies and practices which permeate all aspects of our business, ensuring that all our holidays are undertaken in a way which is socially, environmentally and culturally sound. Responsible Tourism remains at the very core of everything we do as a tour operator.

We feel strongly that all our holidays should benefit the local communities, protect the environment by minimising pollution, and respect local traditions, religion and heritage. We tread lightly - low volume, low impact holidays are the best way of preserving the beautiful and fragile places we visit. Mountain Kingdoms has a top five-star rating for Sustainable Tourism from the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and is a previous winner of the prestigous annual AITO Responsible Tourism award.

We believe that Responsible Tourism is about more than just policies. It involves giving something tangible back to the communities that we visit.

Sustainable Tourism Projects from Mountain Kingdoms

Mountain Kingdoms Helps You Do Your Bit to Reduce Plastic Waste

With the release of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series in 2018, the use of single use plastic was brought to the forefront of every viewer’s mind. At an office meeting, this topic was raised and we decided that Mountain Kingdoms must do something.

For many years we have given our clients either a Mountain Kingdoms branded fleece or a kit bag when they book at holiday with us. From 2019 we decided to offer clients the choice of either a fleece or water bottle instead. At a trade fair we had seen the Water-to-Go stand and. We spoke at length to the company and did some research to find out more about these amazing refillable water bottles that filter water from any source (from a muddy puddle upwards).

As at 31 October 2019 we have given 367 bottles to clients free of charge. If these clients solely used their Water to Go bottle, rather than single use plastic bottles of mineral water, on an average typical two week break, we would have helped to stop over 20,500 single use 500ml plastic bottles being used. Our guides always make sure that any litter from our groups is picked up and disposed of correctly but by using these reusable bottles our customers are also helping us to address the terrible litter problem that plagues some of the countries we visit by minimising waste.

It was particularly exciting to see the arrival of the water bottles and we are delighted with our logo. The bottle lids unfortunately caused some problems so we gave our customers advice about how to prevent leaks and improve flow. Water to Go has however now completely re-designed the lid so these issues have hopefully been resolved.

All in all it has been a successful venture and it has certainly focussed our minds on responsible tourism here at Mountain Kingdoms and we are currently researching many other ways to make our holidays more sustainable. Even though it is a small dip in the ocean, we are making a difference and changing people’s attitudes along the way.


The human race manufactures over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year. Half of that plastic is used just ONCE. In the more remote parts of the world which Mountain Kingdoms visits, we see the dire effects of this: recycling facilities are in their infancy and poor waste management has resulted in severe plastic pollution.

From 2019, Mountain Kingdoms will offer clients who are not given a free kit bag (required for certain treks) the choice of receiving either a free filtered water bottle or a free Mountain Kingdoms fleece. This will enable Mountain Kingdoms and its clients to help to reduce plastic waste, thus reducing the amount going into our oceans and helping to keep all the countries we visit beautiful for generations to come.

The NHS recommends drinking at least two litres of water a day, which means clients could be buying 56 single use 500cl bottles on a typical two week trip. Here at Mountain Kingdoms we have teamed up with Water-to-Go which has developed a multi-use drinking bottle with a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. In 2019 we estimate we will be giving away 300 water bottles to our clients, which means we could stop around 16,800 single-use plastic bottles being used!

If you book on one of our trips, we will be offering clients, who are not given a free Mountain Kingdoms kit bag (these are required for certain treks), a free water bottle and a further 15% discount on extra bottles and new filters. Find out more information at:

  • The human race manufactures over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year.
  • Free filtered water bottle for each applicable client
  • In 2019 we estimate we could help save 16,800 single-use plastic bottle

Zanskar Bridge Project

Initiated by Mountain Kingdoms MD, Steve Berry, this unique project is building a rare Zanskari bridge of interwoven twigs, helping to keep ancient Zanskari traditions and culture alive. Email for further info.

  • Zanskar is a Tibetan Buddhist kingdom, just north of the main Himalayan range, in Ladakh, India.
  • Traditionally Ladakhi people depended on incredible woven twig bridges in order to cross the icy rivers.
  • 1st bridge has now been built