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Enviromental Impacts on Tourism: Sharm el Sheikh

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Scott Wallace

on 14 November 2013

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Transcript of Enviromental Impacts on Tourism: Sharm el Sheikh

Environmental Impacts
Sharm el Sheikh
Introduction to Sharm
el Sheikh
Characteristics of tourists in Sharm el Sheikh
Mainly Western European
Winter-sun visitors
Spend 1-2 weeks on all inclusive packages
Stay at new resort developments
Diving and beach-based holidays
Short break holidays are also increasing
Competitively priced
Plog's typology of tourists
Transit route region:
Mainly by air
Also some crusies
Tourist destination region (Pull factors):
constant temperature
coral reefs
Tourist generating
Western Europe
Leipers Tourism System
Tourism in Sharm el Sheikh
Close destination to Europe where you can soak up the sun
Climate is warm and dry all year long
Winter: 20-25
Summer: 30-35
Wide range of activities available:
Sky diving
Safaris to nearby deserts
and many more!
Sharm el Shiekh is ranked as one the best vacation destination in the world
Unique combination of coral reefs in the Red seam with desert scenery and Bedouin culture
Statistics of Tourism in Sharm el Sheikh
The tourism industry accounts for 11.4% of GDP and 10% of jobs (BBC, 2011)
Around 90% of tourism in Egypt is concentrated in the costal resorts of Southern Sinai
Tourists to the Red Sea area bring in more than $1.2 billion in foreign currency and generate more than 275,000 jobs
British tourists in Egypt:
2008: 1.2m
2009: 1.3m
2010: 1.45m
2011: 1.1m (predicted)
Sharm el Shiek in relation to
Butlers Life Cycle
Environmental impacts from Tourism
" The quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism" (Sunlu, 2003)

However tourism can have many negative impacts on the environment, due to this the relationship between tourism and the environment can be complex.
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
Increase in bed-space
During the last 25 years the region of Souther Sinai has seen a huge rise in the number of bed-spaces.
1988- 1,030 bed spaces
1995- 12,000 bed spaces
2010- 62,000 bed spaces (Reuters, 2010)
Many of these have been in large international hotel complexes
These complexes have been built very close to the high water mark
This is leading to negative effects on the coral reefs (the basis of tourism in this area)
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
St. Catherine's Monastery
A 6th century monastery located at the foot of Mount Sinai
A UNESCO world heritage site
It is regions major cultural attraction
Attracts 97,000 visitors a year (mainly day trip visitors from costal resorts who stay less than half an hour)
Upto 2000 people may visit St. Catherines in one day
Visitor levels have increased by 300% over the last decade
They are expected to increase by another 500% by 2017
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
St. Catherine's Monastery
The large increase in tourists to St. Catherine's has caused many impacts to the monastery itself, and also the surrounding environment:
Stress has been placed on the physical structure
Treating it as a tourist attraction rather than a place of worship is resulting in strain for the monks and visiting pilgrims who use it for the latter
Due to cultural influences of Western tourists, the local community has moved away from agriculture and land-management practices Over-grazing
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
Shark attacks
In 2010, there were many shark attacks in Southern Sinai.
During this time, four swimmers were badly injured and one German tourist died from the shark attacks
These attacks in the media's attention and many tourists were put off from visiting the area.

This has led to disputes between environmental groups and the government over the killing of sharks
One group has accussed the government of "indiscrimantly killing at least 10 sharks" (BBC, 2010)

Tourism levels dramatically dropped during the period of the shark attacks, and it is suggested the sharks were killed in order to increase tourism back to its previous levels
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
Scuba Diving
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
Threats to the coral reefs
Apart from diving, tourists cause many other negative impacts to the coral reefs:
Sunscreen: Ingredients in sunscreen can awaken dormant viruses. They cause the coral to be bleached and die.
25% of tourism in that area is made up of recreational scuba divers (Egyptian Tourist Authority)
However, scuba diving is causing a negative effect on the coral reefs in the Red Sea
1997-2002: almost 30% of the live hard coral cover had been destroyed (predominatly by scuba divers
Environmental impacts from tourists in
Southern Sinai
Threats to the coral reefs
Other water sports: wind-surfers, kite-surfers and kayaks pass over the shallow water reefs.
These sports cause the coral reefs to become damaged, broken or killed
Sharm el Shiek in relation to
Butlers Life Cycle
How the government promotes tourism
Geographical location- Close to Europe
Top diving destination
Cosmopolitan capital of the peninsular of Sinai
"City of peace"
New line of cruises between Cairo and Taba
How the government promotes tourism
City of Peace
Sharm el Sheikh is renowned as the city of peace
A large number of international peace conferences have been held there
It is presented as a region which is less vulnerable to terrorism
Although there has been political unrest in Cairo, this has not affected the level of tourism in Sharm
How the government promotes tourism
Agreement with Egypt Express Co. to develop four new cruise lines
These lines will be between Cairo and Taba and will 'stop off' in Southern Sinai
South Sinai Investors workers believe this agreement will help to boost tourism in Southern Sinai
Where is Sharm El Sheihk on Plogs Typology of tourists?
Full transcript