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Touristic Zones Development

Sustainable Tourism in Egypt

Sustainable tourism has become an approach and a method upon which many of international tourism institutions are based on, and unlike the believe that the application of sustainable tourism is costly in financial terms, but it has its moral and physical revenues.

Tourism represents one of the main pillars of the Egyptian economy as it contributes with 11.3% of the total national income and provide 19.3% of the total hard currency as well as it provides many jobs opportunities, where the proportion of workers in the tourism sector amounts 12.6% of the total labor power in Egypt.

According to tourism statistics in 2014, the Egyptian tourism has made progress by the end of this year amounted to 10 million tourists compared to 9.5 million tourists by the end of 2013 as the tourism sector achieved a revenue of $ 7.5 billion during 2014, compared with $ 5.9 billion in 2013, with an increase of 27%, this is after stability witnessed in the political and security situation, especially during the second half of last year and the European countries has lift the travel ban on most of the Egyptian tourist areas, and 2010 has been reordered as the peak year, which represents Egypt's highest tourism revenues by achieving $ 12.5 billion.

  • The eco-tourism contributes to tourism sustainability by increasing the economic and social benefits for local host communities, and by contributing to the conservation of the natural, cultural and social resources for those communities, and increasing the awareness for all travelers towards the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
  • Eco-tourism and green tourism are types of sustainable tourism which also includes the justice tourism, solidarity tourism and responsible tourism, which seek to make the optimal use of tourist sites and the management of all environmental, economic, cultural and heritage resources and ensure their sustainability on the long term.
  • According to the final document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled "the future to which we aspire," which was held in June 2012 on the importance of promoting investment in sustainable tourism and good integrated planning to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection and wildlife conservation, biodiversity and ecosystems and cultural diversity and improving the livelihood of the population of such communities.
  • The vision of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment depends on the development of tourist areas and creating investment opportunities in tourism opportunities in various tourism development areas.
  • We have three villages and resorts in Nuweiba and protected area of St. Catherine, and most of these areas rely on eco-tourism, such as the New Valley, The hotels are simple in design and rely on environmental resources beginning with the exterior design and internal decoration .
  • Eco-lodges or what is called “Green hotels”, which started to be widely spread in recent years and the number is increasing continuously.
  • Investors are interested in this type of hotels that began a few years ago so that the total number of hotels which are classified as environmentally friendly in Egypt amounted 12 hotels including one in Dakhla Oasis which was rated as the best Eco-lodge in the world among 21 international tourist facilities, featuring Islamic architectural design and the building materials used in the construction are from the local environment. There are also a large number of these hotels are in the New Valley which is compatible with the surrounding environment and offer craft products made from wool and wicker. There are other hotels that depend on environmental trips either by camels or by safari vehicales so that tourists recognize the nature of living in those areas away from the city and its crowdedness. Also in "Siwa" Oasis there are four hotels, and there is one hotel located in Wadi El gemal protected area on the Red Sea Governorate, as well as one hotel in Luxor .
  • Green hotel is a global trend towards so-called "green tourism" that deals with the environment, and raise the slogan to consider the environment, These hotels are rationalizing the energy and water through using technology designed for that purpose, which leads to reducing operating expenses. This type of hotels rely on environmental elements such as the use of candles and the use of solar cells for water heating in the winter, which reduces water consumption for at least 40%.

Environmental Planning

Environmental Planning is the kind of planning which produces through its operations an integrated plans with environmental dimension, it is not only producing environmental plans which aim directly at protecting the environment and conserving the natural resources, but also produces other types of plans that take into account the environmental dimension. Thus, environmental planning may include purely environmental projects such as (rehabilitation of polluted river project, project of conserving threatened animals with extinction danger, the project of establishing an environmental monitoring plant), and it may include environmental development projects (such as eco-tourism projects, waste recycling project), and also it may include a pure development projects (such as the construction of cement plant), but such a project can be within the environmental planning framework when studying the environmental impact assessment and redesign it in a way that reduces its impacts on the environment to zero or less than the possible grades.
Environmental planning is defined as a new concept and approach that evaluates the development plans through environmental perspective, or in other words it is the planning that governs primarily the environmental dimension and the expected environmental impacts for the development plans for the foreseeable and the unforeseeable future. It is the planning that cares about capacities or environmental load in a way that the development projects ambitions do not exceed and environmental critical limit, a limit that we should not stop on, or we should not transgress it, in order not to have a contrary results that may damage the outcomes of development plans.

The Economic Importance of Environmental Planning

  • The environmental planning through addressing the environmental problems and evaluation of the various projects, will lead to creating a healthy and safe environment, where individuals are healthy away from the pressures of environmental problems, therefore those individuals are more capable to work and produce, which leads to economic growth, it also reduces the expenditure incurred on health medication.
  • The environmental planning leads to stopping the depletion of natural resources and its rational use, and there is no doubt that it has an economic benefits.
  • The application of the principles upon which environmental planning is based on will lead to achieving economic savings. For example, to achieve the principle of prevention is better than cure, it requires the preparation of environmental impact assessment studies for new projects, in order to recognize the environmental damage to avoid it in advance and thus avoid financial expenses that are required to meet those damages. The principle of self-reliance will help to achieve economic savings; it will lead to depending on local expertise and techniques rather than spending large sums of money to import foreign expertise and technology. As well as for the principle of Back- To- Nature, that relies on natural environmental low price solutions.
  • Environmental planning pays special attention to energy efficiency and reducing lose of them, that leads to the achievement of economic savings. In addition to searching for alternative renewable energy sources to creates economic opportunities.
  • Environmental planning will also include projects with economic revenues, and the best example of these projects is the projects of waste recycling. Instead of waste disposal and to bear financial expenses and negative environmental impacts waste disposal will be dealt as an economic resource that will produce many products.

How Does the Environmental Planning Contribute to Expanding the Economic Opportunities for Young People

  • When applying the proper environmental planning in one country, the young people in this country will enjoy living in a clean and healthy environment, and thus they will be free from environmental pollution associated diseases, and hence these young people will be more capable to work and improve their economic level.
  • The success of environmental planning in achieving its goal in conserving natural resources and not depleting it and achieving its rational use, it will lead to providing the natural resources for young people to use it in building and strengthening economic abilities, and in contrary when environmental planning is absent natural resources will be depleted:
    • Developing an additional tourist patterns depending on sustainable tourism.
    • The continuous development for sustainable tourism standards to be in line with international standards.
    • Putting natural resource conservation within the tourism industry priorities
    • Maximizing the role of the private sector and the business sector to bear the investment burden in new tourist areas.
    • Depending on the national product of goods and services whenever possible.
    • Developing a mechanism for solving investment problems in tourism sector.
    • Preparing an integrated programs to protect the Nile River and coastal areas as a result of tourists flow .
    • Spreading tourism awareness among citizens.

The Protection of Natural Environmental Resources and Nature Conservation

1- Sustainable use of water:
  • The introduction of integrated management of water resources and the rationalization of water uses.
  • Increasing sewage water treatment.
  • Encouraging the participation and contributions of the private sector in investment projects, especially drinking water projects and re-using of treated sewage water.
  • Encouraging the projects of water recycling.
  • Increasing the responsibility of users and increasing their sense of Projects ownership (through their participation in the management and ownership of water and sanitation facilities).
  • Decentralization of the executive responsibilities of the Ministry of Water Resources and irrigation.
  • Controlling pollution as one of the integrated management dimension of water.
  • Activating the role of National Water Council to ensure coordination between policies and programs and to support laws that improve application and compliance.
  • Applying the principle of polluter must pay principle.
  • Enhancing Cooperation among Nile Basin countries to achieve desired economic and social development from River Nile water.

2- The optimal use of energy resources:
  • The optimal use of available resources of oil, natural gas and mineral resources.
  • Developing strategy for energy sector in Egypt including traditional, new and renewable resources.
  • Providing infrastructure necessary for CDM projects that generate economic profits.
  • Improving energy efficiency production in power plants generation.
  • Increasing generation capabilities from the available resources such as wind farms, solar energy, nuclear energy) in addition to gas-powered plants.
  • Expanding the use of energy-saving technology such as combined cycle technology in the production of electric power because of its high thermal efficiency.
  • Conducting studies of environmental impact assessment and application of environmental conservation standards in power generation plants.
  • Improving efficiency of electricity transmission, distribution and reducing the loss of the national grid and the expansion of high-efficiency appliances and energy saving bulbs.
  • Promoting the expanding of using high-efficiency appliances and energy saving bulbs.
  • Activating the role of the Supreme Council of Energy.

3- Conservation of biodiversity level:
  • Achieving popular participation in biodiversity conservation Programs.
  • Improving scientific and technical capabilities in biodiversity conservation and natural resources in development areas.
  • Developing the National capacities for biodiversity conservation.
  • Make biodiversity as a tool for the development of natural resources in favor for the public development plans.
  • Implementing obligations towards international covenants and conventions.
  • Supporting the legislative rules and promoting economic and social incentives for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of natural resources.
  • Mobilization of national efforts for biodiversity conservation to ensure its continuity and the optimal use of its components.