Many councils, states or counties as a whole has understood the positive impacts of tourism economically, this sector pours a big share in the country’s economy, if analyzed, planned, chosen. Formulated and implemented strategically. There are many unfortunate countries that have not identified tourism as a sector. For this reason there is no establishment or body to look after and run this sector.
Tourists have been travelling for centuries, sometimes just to relax, to have leisure time,underwent recreational activities, for attending conferences and seminars; and to meet friends and relatives. Gradually, the concept became wider when the tourists started taking interest in the history and culture of the destination like Egypt- Pyramids. Having realizedby the authorities that tourists take good interest in their heritage and history, this led the country to maintain their cultural places, events and festivals to exhibit to the tourists. Therefore new trend of cultural tourism emerged.
Cultural tourism is a genre of specific interest tourism based on the search for and participation in new and deep cultural experience, whether aesthetic, intellectual, emotional or psychological. (Stebbins 1996) It makes the countries to market its rich and diverse cultural events to its local population and tourists alike.
Boarding participation in the arts, increasing opportunities for arts, preserving and promoting cultural resources and investing in community’s quality of life are among the reasons. State arts agencies are key players in supporting and leading cultural tourism initiatives. For this reason successful projects need to undergo with collaboration, assessment, research, marketing and visitor services. This development of successful strategies will link the arts and tourism in communities.
Tourism can present both advantages and problems. On the positive side, the preservation of heritage history and culture will attract the number of tourists and bring prosperity. At the same time maintenance of these resources will be ideal for the local population as it will create familiarity and affection with ancient history and forefathers. On the other hand, from the negative perspective the issue of controlling tourism will be challenging. Mass tourism will result in to fulfill the curiosity of the tourists and the cultural amenities will be destroyed. The Great Sphinx of Egypt with Candle Holder – Poly Resin
Egypt is a very well-known destination for cultural tourism. Ever since it was visited by “Herodotus” during the ancient time, he was surprised to see the vast differences between Egypt and his homeland. This image has been maintained throughout the middle and modern history.
The discovery of Pharaonic antiquities long time ago has added a special charm to Egypt, beside its unique religious and cultural monuments. Egypt enjoys various fields of tourism, the most important are, archaeological or cultural tourism as one of the oldest types of tourism in Egypt, where the ancient civilizations are visible to the naked eye, an incarnation of the nation that constructed these civilizations since the dawn of history. Despite the multiple types of tourism and Egypt’s cultural tourism remains the unrepeated unique and non-competitive component of tourism as Egypt possesses one third of the world’s known monuments. The Great Sphinx at Giza in Egypt
Therefore, historically speaking tourism has been a key ingredient in Egypt’s economy for about the last 200 years. However, over the last generation, tourism has become an essential component of the economy and is now the source of 45% of the country’s annual foreign currency earnings.
Impacts of tourism:
Until recently, growth in tourism was thought achievable without imposing any negative impact on Egypt’s cultural heritage resources. It used to be considering as non-consumable industry and a great tool to country’s development strategy. Similarly, it was regarded as a vital element to Egypt’s economy. But the constant research about the sector revealed that tourism consumes resources of the host nation, not just natural and man-made resources, but cultural ones, too. Cultural resources are finite and have to be managed like any other scarce resource.
Positive impactsof tourism:
The rise of tourism can lead the local population of Egypt to learn good things from diverse culture. This can open the door to many opportunities. For example Egyptians speaking Arabic, will come in the interaction of Asian, European, American tourists, this can influence them with their language and may lead to learn it. So that they can communicate with the tourists such a desire can make the establishments or centers to offer courses based on the languages. This can further import the native expertise and give many choices to the learners.
It is the heritage of Egypt that has made it worldwide known destination. Many European and American tourists show their urge to visit the destination and see the pyramids from their eyes. The culture and heritage rich destination – Egypt is taught in colleges and other vocational courses. This treasure of heritage and culture has made Egypt very important.
Restoration and conservation:
The heritage of Egypt is consistently restored and conserve. Conservation department is devoted to the preservation of cultural heritage for the future. It includes examination, documentation, treatment and preventive care of the historic treasure. Since it is being protected by the country for tourists, thereforeit is also greatly used by the local population. The nation knows about their ancient history which is alive in them after centuries through the preservation and maintenance of these objects.
It describes the bond or glue that brings the people of Egypt together in society, particularly in the context of cultural diversity. These cultural heritage and history bring them closer, united and signs their mutuality. Such a practice passes on from one generation to another and Egyptians take pride to be the part of world class ancient history.
General development of infrastructure:
Access to the cultural heritage site is just not possible for tourists with effective and modern infrastructure. People on holidays, curious for learning and view would like to save their energy to tour around to fulfill their purpose of tourism. This modern means of infrastructure will then are used by the locals and make their life easier too. Not only has this but such advancement queued up the country to earn title of a developed country.
Negative impacts of tourism:
The interesting history of the Egypt has led the destination to deal with mass tourism. This form of tourism was unable to responsibly control and had ruined the area of natural beauty. It has also polluted the beaches and destroyed the habitats of wild as roads and hotels are built. Therefore such a loss and damage to such resources and infrastructure had reduced numbers of visitors. The air travel, sources of mass tourism is a major cause of global warming.
Culture and tradition sensibility:
Large number of tourists has undermined traditional beliefs, values, and customs and in particular risk commercializing the very culture Egyptians is proud of. Many incidents of their insensitivity to local population and tradition have caused great offence, for example the indecent dressing, indecent behavior etc.
Reliance on tourism:
Mass tourism ruins the environment of the destination. The incidents in past where the Egypt heritage and cultural threats emerged alarmed the local authorities to limit the tourism. It was felt that nature conservation, park management, red sea tourism need to be sustained. These authorities are now playing to implement such measures that will not destroy their treasure of history and also welcome the tourist to view and admire their ancient history.
Regardless of the economic benefits tourism brings, it is very significant for the Egyptian tourist’s board to balance the requirements of locals and facilities tourists need. For example the sightseeing in Luxor, where the valley of the King’s is the site where the Pharoah’s underground tombs have been constructed, and tomb of Tutankhamun, Rames III and IV etc. are the most visited sites. These sites in particular suffer from pollution, damage and other negative effects greatly. In short, the civilization of Egypt was in extreme danger, until the government decided to be equipped with some meaningful strategy to deal with the issue.
At the same time, the influence of the European tourists industry has really motivated the government to choose the direction where the economical merits of the industry will be enjoyed but not at the risk of losing the traditions, values, monuments and other physical amenities.
For this reason, effective destination planning must define the level of acceptable tourism development in Egypt and provide control to maintain that level.
Mass tourism always hooks up with pollution that is destruction to its environment, physical amenities, natural resources etc. therefore, the pollution controls should be built into all forms of infrastructure. In this regard, educational programmers should assist and invite tourist to respect and understand the local way of life, culture, history and religion. The Egyptian tourism policy should think on these lines that tourists need not to cross border line to negatively influence the local civilization, traditions, values and beliefs.
It means the transformation of something, usually society at large. Luxor is known for its Disney-fication as city officials approved a controversial plan to excavate an ancient processional route and develop it as a key tourist attraction. Buried in soil for centuries, the 2.7 kilometer “Avenue of Sphinxes” once connected the temples of Luxor and Karnak in what was then ancient city of Thebes.
Such crucial impacts of culture and heritage have forced the low income families to lose their homes where water and electricity was cut off past few months ago.
The development of cultural and heritage sites on the price of influencing the local population living or houses should not be the practice of the ministry tourism in Egypt. Such a project should not be planned and implemented.
When there is no source of reliable compensation schemes. The director of Luxor antiques Mansour Boraik believed uncoiling the avenue of Sphinxes was their dream, since it was the longest and biggest religious route ever built in the ancient world. Therefore many houses have demolished already.
Regardless of the economic positive impacts that tourism carries, such a move by the government will increase the hostility of the local population against tourists.
Reconstruction and restoration of cultural sites:
Every year the government of Egypt spends billions of pounds to maintain and reconstruct the ancient architecture and monuments. Such a big budget of economy is invested on these sectors whereas; there is a need to pour handsome investment in other sectors like sports, education, health and industry. Just like many touristic islands and destination, the complete reliance ondevelopment of tourism sector only can cause many disasters and the country’s economy can face a big collapse.
Local population belief:
Since tourist mingle up with local population from diverse background with different lifestyles, religions, languages, values, beliefs, practices etc. Therefore, it is quite likely that host population will start getting fascinated with unique practices and thus follow them. For example, Egypt is an Islamic country and the local dress code is completely different than European tourists. Local people might get influence from European tourists and start following their dress code.
Tourism industry brings the people of all beliefs and religions together into the destination. Egypt had recently become a target land for terrorism. People from their home country fly to Egypt to satisfy their thirst of viewing historical places and learn about the ancient history. But unfortunately, destination has become marked by terrorist to kill foreigners. For this reason, new measures of security are needed to be implanted to make sure that just like local people, tourist feel the same safety and security, this might need a heavy budget on security and safety equipment. Failure to achieve the best means of security can spread a very negative reputation all around, which can drastically influence the number of tourists in future.
Tourism planning policies and infrastructure:
The Egypt tourist authority:
The tourism industry being the largest in the Egypt needs to undergo very effective destination planning. The planning should enable the policy makers to understand the linkages between tourism and each of the economic sectors so that optional planning and management strategies can be implemented for the destination.
The lucrative economic benefits of tourism are of course not ignorable but at the same time the utilization of natural, man-made, cultural and heritage resources of Egypt should not be misused. In past the policy makers were ignorant about this fact. Since tourism is generating a big share of income for Egypt’s economy for two centuries. But now is the time to understand the world phenomenon that tourism has increasingly important socioeconomic and cultural impact. So the heritage, nature, and culture have to be protected. Egypt has experienced many red signals that reflect the concern about controlling or limiting tourism.
At the end of the 1980s, Egypt’s government took the decision to develop tourism, when other sources of rent income were in crisis and the government was in danger of being destabilized. Since then, tourism has been a great success story in Egypt and contributes substantially to the economic development of the country. The tremendously increasing tourism revenues have significantly contributed to the stabilization of the political system.
Progressive sustainable tourism program is the initiative of ministry of tourism of Egypt to put environmental protection and conservation at the top of Egypt’s tourism development agenda in current as well as future tourism development plans.
Being an undisputed gateway to one of the world’s fastest growing tourism markets, and with 200,000 hotel rooms planed over 15 years, Egypt has realized one of the world’s largest tourism development plans. Associated with this rapid growth are the international popularity of its natural environment and the potential threat of degradation to both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Many conferences have been organized by the Minister of Tourism, Dr.Mamdouh El-Beltaugi, about Egypt’s Red Sea Sustainable Tourism Initiative.
Sustainable tourism which is an effective development philosophy can advance environmental conservation and promote the sustainable use of natural resources, and a catalyst for economic and local community development in Egypt.
For example, over 1.2 million tourists visit the Red Sea coast annually, bringing in over $1.2 billion in foreign exchange and generating more than 275,000 jobs. The Red Sea has become one of Egypt’s premier tourism destinations, based in large part on its unique and fragile marine environment. In recent years, however, tourism development has come increasingly into conflict with protection and conservation of Red Sea resources.
To assure that future tourism development in the southern Red Sea preserves the environmental resources that make the area so attractive to tourists, the Egyptian government proposed development of a land use management plan identifying zones for different types and levels of development and preservation. In addition, to counteract tourism’s negative effects while still encouraging economic growth, the government proposed a program to protect designated marine and coastal areas through the establishment of nature reserves, and to build the capacity of national and local government agencies, as well as private tourism enterprises, to cope with the many challenges presented by a booming tourism industry.
Primary elements of urban tourism:
â€¢ Museums and Art Galleries
â€¢ Theaters and Cinemas
â€¢ Concert Halls
â€¢ Convention Centers and other Visitor Attractions
â€¢ Indoor and Outdoor
â€¢ Night Clubs
â€¢ Casinos and Bingo Halls
â€¢ Organized Events
â€¢ Historical Street Pattern
â€¢ Interesting Buildings
â€¢ Ancients Monuments and Statues
â€¢ Parks and Green Areas
â€¢ Waterfronts (Harbor, Canal, River)
â€¢ Liveliness of the Place
â€¢ Local Customs and Costumes
â€¢ Cultural Heritage
Secondary elements of urban tourism:
â€¢ Catering Facilities
Additional elements of urban tourism:
â€¢ Transportation and Parking
â€¢ Tourist Information(maps, signs, guides)
Sinbad Aquapark is a beach front hotel, situated in Hurghada, Egypt. It isjust fifteen minutes from HurghadaAirport; this well-featured resort hotel includes a water park and extensive sporting facilities. Sindbad Club Aqua Park and Resort has 685 guestrooms.
Room features Air conditioning, Bathroom with shower, Minibar, Room safe, Satellite TV, Small lounge, Telephone, Television, Windows that open Writing desk.
Facilities at the hotel include various bars and restaurants, large swimming pool with Jacuzzi, children’s swimming pool, aqua park with water slides and wave pool, children’s club, tennis, billiards, bowling.
Wellness centre with Jacuzzi, sauna, massage, medical centre, cosmetics studio and hairdresser and full entertainment programmed for adults and children.
There are number of distinctive features tend to characterize Egypt’s urban tourism destinations, some of which could represent focal points of remedy. Such features include: The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt
There is a great shift from Public sector’s development to the privatized in Egypt to maintain and offer visitors an exciting experience. Hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, transportation etc are becoming privatized which is creating a leakage in the economy. The earnings of public sector are equally distributed into the establishment of new services and sector nationally because it is meant to be spending likely. But on the contrary, privatized firms businesses benefit the individuals and specific family for what the countries remain under developed.
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Convention Centers and Exhibitions:
There are significant numbers of visitors to Egypt whose primary purpose of visit is not leisure-related. As convention Centers and Exhibitions are often regarded as one of the staples of urban tourism thus at the destination of Egypt, up to forty percent of those staying overnight have come for this type of business tourism. Convention Centers and Exhibitions are perceived to be strong growth sectors in which the visitor spends an above average amount and which operate for most of the years in the Egypt. Employment, publicity, image improvement, and urban regeneration are benefits that generally justify the big financial investment for those centers. Besides these advantages, it is important to remember that the conference business cannot be separated from the rest of the tourism industry particularly because most participants are also seeking urban amenities in an exciting environment.
Substantial existing attractions and infrastructure generally developed for non-tourism purposes in Egypt. This has made the city life very congested and of course polluted. The Egyptian Tourism Authority needs to realize the importance of green tourism to be environmental friendly. Hotels have been established like the woods in a forest which also lead to noise pollution and air pollution.
A large number, variety and scale of primary and secondary attractions have been developed which is most of the time tourists have occupied, this lead to a jealousy and frustration in host population towards tourists. The more the disputes will take place the negative impacts will emerge which mainly will ruin the publicity of the destination. Example SINDBAD HOTEL.
Local residents are significant, often majority, users of attractions and infrastructure. These attractions utilize money, man power, land and other resources which can be used to undergo projects like Golf, school hospital bank orleisure Centre etc. In short, the approach of the government to spend on urban tourism can turn out to be a threat in future.
Distribution of the resources:
Tourism is just one of many economic activities in the city, with implications for the awareness and perceived importance of tourism issues by business, government and residents. The competition for resources within cities like Luxor, Alexanderia, and Cairo also has implications for the provision of visitor services, and the cost and availability of land and labor.
Strategic planning of the destination:
The involvement of a multiplicity of public and commercial organizations with varying levels of interest in tourism, which has implications for the complexity of planning and policy-making processes, day-to-day operational management, and the coherence of marketing activity.
At the same time, many things have not changed. The Egyptians remain a very hospitable people who truly seem to love sharing their glorious past with visitors. They are a warm people who, meeting a foreign visitor for the first time, still have a habit of inviting them home to dinner, which is usually made into a feast of sorts.
So as we head into the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century, we find an Egypt that is more than ever ready to accept modern western tourists, perhaps as never before. New and sometimes very luxurious hotels are springing up everywhere to accommodate them, and younger, savvier tour operators are planning wonderful and exciting ways to entertain and engage tourists. Egypt is a land of enchantment and mystery, and now is the best time ever to experience the Mother of the World
Mass tourism VS Sustainable tourism:http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTQpcTdij9YrlMdAj3PoyDm7LgA0EFTXAA6JA55EuW4wgTamGtx&t=1
The term ‘mass tourism” is problematic to define with any precision and they claim that the term refers to the production, structure and organization of tourism akin to an industrial process whereby economies of scale are sought to meet market needs. Poon (1993) defines mass tourism as a large-scale phenomenon, packaging and selling standardized leisure services at fixed prices to a mass clientele. Further to this Fayos-Solà (1996) went as far to suggest that the operational model of mass tourism no longer suffices to achieve competitiveness in tourism enterprises and regions and he proposed that a new paradigm, the New Age of Tourism (NAT), is gathering strength owing to its ability to face to prevailing circumstances.
There are probably a hundred reasons why people visit Egypt. These days, perhaps the bulk of tourists actually come from various European countries for an inexpensive beach vacation, quite often in large groups by chartered airlines. For them, it is simply the least expensive means of taking a warm, beach vacation in a nice resort along the Red Sea coast of Egypt or in the Sinai. Many of these vacations are arranged by large European operations that use mass tourism to arrange considerable hotel space at very inexpensive rates.
More lucrative to the Egyptians, and certainly a major source of tourism to Egypt, are the classical tourists, who come to Egypt specifically to visit the ancient monuments. Beach goers may also arrange classical tours as extensions of their holidays, but normal classical tourists will usually follow a much defined route, from Cairo along the Nile Valley down to Aswan, though they may also opt for various extensions, including a brief visit to one of the beaches.
Sustainable tourism in Egypt:
Egypt national tourist strategic planhttp://www.mga-ai.it/images/480/Egypt2_480.jpg
After the disastrous effects of Mass Tourism Egypt is looking into the possibilities for diversifying its tourism opportunities throughout the country. The main target for expanding the tourism sector is nature-based tourism. The coral reefs and rich marine life in South Sinai and the Red Sea coast have made these two areas among the premier scuba diving destinations in the world. Many beach resorts are now in operation and there are still hundreds to be constructed. However, previous tourism development in Egypt has resulted in a series of negative environmental impacts. The ambitious development plans to receive 16 million tourists by 2017 should take into consideration sustainability concepts. The government and developers have significant roles to play in adopting and implementing environmentally sound policies and practices to avoid the degradation of the natural heritage of Egypt for the sake of the current as well as future generations.
“Egypt in 21st Century” plan is prepared by the cabinet of the Egyptian Government in 1997,and it lays out the long-term national development plan in the beginning century. Tourismwas positioned as one of major leading industries in the strategy.Following are the tourism development strategies in the 21th century:
To increase the number of visitor arrivals to 27 million by the year 2017
To extend length of stay from 7 days in 1997 to 9 days by the year 2017, and to increase total bed nightsfrom 26 million in 1997 to 230 million by 2017
To raise the accommodation capacity to 618 thousand rooms by the year 2017
To focus on tourism development projects in South Egypt
To formulate integrated development programs for new tourist areas
To establish new tourist camp sites for safaris in the middle of Sinai and in Wadi El Gemal of Red Sea
To preserve the ancient Egyptian civilization
To supply new sites for tourism development with all the required facilities like in the Red Sea, Sinai, theNew Valley, Luxor and Aswan.
The impact of tourism on the Egyptian society is significant. Direct economic benefits of tourisminclude generation of employment, increase of foreign exchange earnings, incomegeneration and contribution to government revenues These benefits are the main source of income to strengthen the other sectors of Egypt greatly. Tourism also provides indirectimpacts on the economic sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, handicraft manufacturingand construction, which supply the goods and services for tourism sector. Furthermore, the improvement of transportation and other infrastructure facilities andservices encourage the economic and culture development of the community in theregional area.
The Egyptian national tourism sector marketing strategy emphasizes on quality, and aimsto foster and encourage high-quality tourism services at competitive prices. Since 1982,Egypt has developed a new strategy aiming to increase the number of tourists visitingEgypt. The plan was, and still is, to boost tourism demand by attracting visitors beyondthe main tourism incoming markets, namely visitors from the European Community, USA, Canada and the Arab countries and target new potential markets. Thepredominant new markets Egypt must aim to attract are: Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, EasternEurope, and Southern and Latin America. Up till now the Egyptian tourism sector has notachieved the desired travel movement from Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and Malaysia. Egypt
Scandinavia and Eastern Europe countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Russia, they only yielded a total of 600 000 tourists compared to 3 274 377 tourists from both western and southern Europe (Papadopoulos, 2003). The main customers are the Germans followed by Italians, Russians, English, French and Saudi Arabians. Egypt mustpromoted through advertising campaigns in the mass media, participation and attendance in various exhibitions and the continuous renewal of advertising material.
Egyptian organizations need to participate in all major international events, while tourist planners have developed for the demanding tourist, cultural and athletic activities reinforcing Egypt as a tourist destination and attracting people interested in these events. There is also a great need to protect Egypt’s unique desert and its environment and heritage resources. Sustainable development and preservation ofEgypt’s natural resources should be the pillars of the Egyptian tourism plans. The primary concern is to protect the environment by limiting tourism projects in natural reserves. Generally, tourism properties, hard buildings, are only allowed in 12.5% of the land. In recognition of the country’s potential for tourism, high standards of tourism services quality are strictly enforced and green marketing orientation need to be adopted within all tourism marketing activities.
The budget allocated to promote Egypt as a macro-tourist destination abroad is about $50 million a year. Almost 90% of the promotion budget is spent on promotion campaigns through direct media such as the press, TV, billboards, movie and public transport advertisements. The remaining 10% goes to the international network of tourist offices. The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) must focus its promotion activities on the European tourist market, which is considered the main market segment, as it provides about 65% of the inbound tourists coming to Egypt.
ETA promotion policies should also take into consideration the changes that took place in Europe, as there are ten countries that have recently joined the European Union and they are mainly from the Eastern bloc. The ETAhas to look closely at these new potential tourist markets. The Arab tourist market constitutes the second major region sending tourists to Egypt, about 16% of the total number of travelers, and there is a need to design a new strategy that offers the Arab tourist market’s requirements.
Egypt has to highlight its focus of marketing campaign to attract not only culturaltourists, but also to highlight the Red Sea Resorts, with their beaches, diving activitiesand the environmental tourism facilities, taking the sustainability requirements intoconsideration (El-Khadem, 2004; Ministry of Tourism, 2004).