Egypt - Impacts & Concerns, Sustainability & Ecotourism, Industry responsibilities, Tourism Planning

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2009

27 Pages, Grade: 2


Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Background Information / Current Tourism Situation

3. Impacts and Concerns
3.1 Environmental Impacts
3.1.1 Carrying Capacity
3.2 Economical Impacts
3.3 Socio-cultural Impacts

4. Tourism Responsibilities

5. Tourism Planning

6. Principles of Sustainability and Alternative Approaches to Tourism Growth
6.1 Sustainability
6.2 Ecotourism

7. Conclusion
7.1 Personal Opinion


Appendix - Tourism Development Plan of Egypt

1. Introduction

The author chose Egypt because he had been there several times and in his opinion, Egypt is a great country that offers lots of tourist attractions as well as a beautiful landscape and an interesting culture for tourists.

The aim of this assignment is to evaluate the different types of tourism impact and to analyse any potential damage caused by tourism activity. Furthermore the aim is to analyse the principles of sustainability and to evaluate any possible alternative approaches to tourism growth and development as well as to analyse the procedures involved in the tourism planning process and to evaluate the responsibilities of the tourism industry.

The author made reference to the current Egyptian tourism planning process issued March, 2007. (, 2008 [online])

2. Background information / Current Tourism Situation

According to the Tourism planning process of the Egyptian State Information, Egypts most important markets are archeological and cultural tourism. Furthermore, beach tourism and “diving center tourism“ represent an activity that attracts a large number of tourists which are the pull factors for Egypt. According to the planning process, push factors are “ affordable inclusive packages and a short distance for European tourists. “ Also, the World Travel Awards awarded Sharm-el-Sheikh the best global destination for diving in 2007.

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Figure 1: Butler ‘ s Tourism Area Life Cycle. Source: Butler, 2005

“ By analysing destinations, it is possible to outline a mix of factors, or forces that help to identify at which stage of theTALC “ a destination is positioned. “ (Cooper, 1997, p. 13)

Figure 1 shows “TALC“ as an s-shaped curve indicating the major stages of tourism development within a destination. According to (2008 [online]), Egypt may be regarded as to be at the stagnation stage, but growth for Egypt‘s Tourism Industry is expected to be 0.2% in 2009 and 4.8% per annum until 2019. However, this could be subject to change because of the current global crisis. Egypt‘s total market share of North Africa is 49.23% (, 2009 [online]).

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Figure 2: International Visitor Arrivals in Egypt. Source: Tourism Satellite Accounts, 2009

According to a report of Egyptology (, 2009 [online]), Egypt has started to feel the pinch of the global financial crisis. It furthermore states that besides the Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco, Spain has become a huge competitor, because it has the ability to reduce prices to attract people because of a large tourism industry and many different tourism segments.

H. E. Mohamed Zoheir Garana, Minister of Tourism for Egypt said in 2007 that “ Together, the Egyptian Government and private sector have worked hard to develop tourism as one of the key components of the economy because we truly believe in the power of tourism. “ (2009 [online]) states that Egypt is politically stable but due to militant islamists whose violent actions killed hundreds of innocent people, Egypt is engaged in preventing terrorism and works towards a safer country, although the impact on Egypt‘s image has not effected tourism growth. The Egyptian Tourism Authority however, announced that it plans to increase the number of tourists, despite terrorist attacks according to the Egyptian State Information (2008 [online]). “Egyptian tourism authorities hope their country can be kept outside of this negative image growing in Europe. After all, most people still associate Egypt with the pharaohs, the pyramids, the Nile and Red Sea coral reefs. “ (, 2008 [online])

Therefore, Egypt is also part of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) for crisis management and recovery which helps countries to prevent and recover from armed conflicts, disasters, conflict senstive development and strategic planning. (, 2009 [online])

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SWOT Analysis, Source:, 2008 [online]

3. Impacts and concerns

According to Bob McKercher (1993) tourism as an industrial activity, consumes resources, creates waste and has specific infrastructure needs and as a consumer of resources it has the ability to over consume resources.

“ The impact of tourism depends on the volume and characteristics of tourists, characteristics of the resources as well as planning and managment “ (Wall, 2006, p. 77)

3.1 Environmental

Gunn (2002, p. 106) identified four principal factors that influence the intensity of environmental impacts:

1. Frequency of use;
2. Type or use and behaviour of users;
3. Season of use;
4. Environmental characteristics and conditions of the area.

Cooper (1997, p.4) says that tourism as an industry creates both: negative and positive impacts:

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According to (2009 [online]), tourism brought environmental impacts such as water and noise pollution as well as a consumption of resources to Egypt. Also, Egypt may be vulnerable due to the high volume of tourists in certain areas, therefore The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA, 2008 [online]) has declared its commitment to achieve significant improvement in environment and reverse loss of environmental resources in order to reach sustainable development. The Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA, 2008 [online]) has made major efforts in protecting its unique biodiversity. The MSEA is running different projects on air quality, noise, fresh water, nature conservation and biodiversity, environmental development in urban communities and others which are all very successful. According to Egypt‘s tourism development plan, Egypt is aiming to develop the coastal and desert areas outside the city cordons to unburden them.

3.1.1. Carrying capacity

“ The maximum number of people who can use a site without an unacceptable alteration in the physical environment & without an unacceptable decline in the quality of the experience gained by visitors. “ (Wall, 2006, p. 33)

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Figure 3: Carrying Capacity Source:, 2008 [online]

According to the tourism development plan of Egypt, the country aims to attract more tourists by diversifying the tourism product (Ecolodge, safari tourism, yacht tourism, golf courts, etc) because the country still has the capacity to develop the coastal and desert areas outside the city cordons.

3.2 Economical

Wall (2006, p. 73) said that tourism involves economic costs, such as pollution, traffic, public security and education but also generates income and brings benefits, such as employment, infrastructure and postive effects for other industries.

Brown (1998, p.64) said that tourism, as an invisible export does have many advantages, such as the following:

1. Some tourism goods and services are not the subject of exchange within international trade. They are, therefore, only indirectly sold in the tourist market.
2. By completing other export products, tourism adds diversity to the export base of a country and, thereby, helps to stabilize its foreign exchange earnings.
3. Tourism development will bring about improvements to local infrastructure, services and facilities that will benefit both resident and tourists.
4. Tourism also has a network of backward linkages to other sectors of the destination ‘ s economy. These opportunities include linkages to local agricultural suppliers, construction, souvenir vendors and entertainment.

Furthermore, both authors state that in order to profit from tourism, the country has to concentrate on the backward linkages, i.e. the income of the tourism industry has to circulate within the country for goods and services from local or national suppliers and not on importing goods and services from other countries. By importing to much goods and services the country creates a leakage.

Gunn (2002, p. 206) said that in countries where the contribution of the travel and tourism industry to the GDP is high and in which most goods and services are imported, the country is likely to be dependent on tourism.

In Egypt, the contribution of travel and tourism to the GDP is 15% in 2009 and expected to decline by 0.4% until 2019. Direct imports and expenditures for the travel and tourism sector are US$11.3 bn and travel & tourism income and exports generate US$14.4 bn in 2009 (, Egypt, 2009 [online]). According to (2008 [online]), the tourism industry is Egypt‘s second major income. The contribution of the travel and tourism economy to employment is 12.6% of total employment in 2009, with expectancy to decline. (, Egypt, 2009 [online]) Tourism contributed to an increase of employment for Egyptians. All in all, there is an improvement of living standarts in the destination. (, 2008 [online])

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Figure 4: Linkage, Leakage and Multiplier Effect. Source: Gunn (2002) - Adapted by Sven Elmers

3.3 Socio-cultural

The socio-cultural impacts of tourism are the effects on host communities of direct and indirect relations with tourists, and of interaction with the tourism industry. The impacts arise when tourism brings about changes in value systems and behavior and thereby threatens indigenous identity. (Wall, 2006, p. 224)

“ It ‘ s not the absolute characteristics of the tourists that determine the degree of socio- cultural impact on a destination, it ‘ s the relative difference between the profiles of the tourists and those of the local population that is important “ (Brown, 1998, p. 77)

Socio-cultural impacts can be positive when tourism is developed sustainably. It can improve a country‘s lifestyle, create jobs, lead to cultural understanding, cause knowledge and education as well as a higher income and foreign investment. However, it can also cause negative impacts when not developed sustainably, such as the loss of local culture and traditions, a wilful pollution, a change of land use as well as a loss of pride.

Smith divided the tourists into 7 categories which show the socio-cultural impact of tourists on a community:

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Source: Gunn, 2002

Doxey (1975) suggested that the existance of reciprocating impacts between outsiders and residents may be converted into varying degrees of resident irritation.


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Egypt - Impacts & Concerns, Sustainability & Ecotourism, Industry responsibilities, Tourism Planning
New College Durham
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egypt, impacts, concerns, sustainability, ecotourism, industry, tourism, planning
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Sven Elmers (Author), 2009, Egypt - Impacts & Concerns, Sustainability & Ecotourism, Industry responsibilities, Tourism Planning, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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