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Egypt seeks to boost eco-tourism in the country

Ministers discuss enhancing cooperation for environmental and sustainable tourism products and regulating activities in natural reserves.

Egypt seeks to boost eco-tourism in the country
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

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Eco-tourism has been gaining popularity in the context of the climate emergency, whose impacts are being felt worldwide. There have been significant changes in people’s views on how they want to travel now; many want to move around in a more environmentally friendly way while they’re on holiday.

In recent years we’ve seen a shift in what tourism ministries in the MENA countries offer regarding their climate commitments, from holidays prioritizing conservation to investing in local communities.

On Sunday, taking a cue from the recent trend, Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa discussed ways to enhance cooperation for environmental and sustainable tourism products and regulate activities in natural reserves.

The ministers discussed ways to integrate the environmental dimension into the tourism sector and spread environmentally friendly practices while preventing poaching and wrong practices. 

During the meeting, Fouad highlighted the ministry’s extensive efforts in ecotourism, noting that the ministry has worked to improve the efficiency and development of nine natural reserves by developing their infrastructure.

Fouad also reviewed three main pillars of the Ministry of Environment’s work to develop nature reserves: improving the quality of services provided, integrating the surrounding communities, and raising the efficiency of the reserves.

Fouad also highlighted the importance of eco-tourism marketing campaigns such as Eco Egypt and Stories from Its People, which shed light on eco-tourism in nature reserves and their local communities, with their distinctive culture and heritage.

The tourism minister expressed the willingness to preserve natural resources and environmental systems, and take all measures to ensure that visitors receive a distinguished tourism experience.

Recently the Ministry of Tourism licensed a number of environmental hotels in Siwa Oasis, Matrouh governorate. These are the first eco-lodge hotels to be evaluated per Egypt’s new standards. The ministry is also working to legalize the conditions of some mountain safari centers in South Sinai and the Red Sea. These centers will be subject to tourism standards and licensed through the ministry.

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