Egypt should focus on promoting ecotourism in the country, the country’s tourism minister Zoheir Garrana said, adding that the tourism ministry should be taking necessary steps to protect the country's long-term prospects.
If we don't deal with tourism as if we're in danger, we'll lose, Garrana was quoted as saying in local media.
The ministry’s decision came days after the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, during which, role of tourism in climate change agenda was equally positioned.
To begin with the designed initiatives for promoting ecotourism, the ministry informed that the Egyptian Red sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will be under consideration first to offer ecotourism. Reduced water consumption, reduced wastes and other eco-friendly services that will cut off biodiversity degradation, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions would help turn the city into a top 'green' destination.
According to official data, 12.5 million international tourists visited Egypt in 2009, contributing $10.5 billion to the economy. The number of foreign tourist arrivals increased by 18.7% in August 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009. The country has witnessed a constant rise in visitor numbers and is now one of the top twenties global holiday destinations, the ministry said.
Egypt has been the attraction center for long, thanks to the iconic pyramids of Giza that draws tourists, architecture, students, historians and more travelers. Moreover, the country's tourism spots such as Ain El Sokhna, Dahab, Madinat Makadi, Marsa Alam, Safaga, Taba, Sharm El Sheikh promise the travelers an unique experience of the beauty of Red Sea, mountains, coral reefs and the aquatic life. Tourism is on rise in Egypt as the country offers such diverse holiday experiences.
Seeing the increase in arrivals, SunExpress, a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines, and Lufthansa, have also announced about their plans to start new flights to Egypt by summer next year.
At a time when Egypt is emerging as a global destination, encouraging adoption of eco-friendly ways of tourism into growth strategies would mean further boost to economy.