Egypt’s tourism industry is among the most diverse and vibrant in the world. Beyond the pristine beaches and year-round sunshine, Egypt ’ s long and varied history, rich cultural heritage and unique geographic features make it a popular destination for adventure, eco, sailing, diving, health and cultural tourism and for religious tourism to sites of importance to Christians and Muslims alike.
Egypt, the cradle of the human civilization has a strategic location in the center of the Middle East, the northern gate to Africa and has the manmade Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea , the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, thus an important gateway on the trade route between Europe, the Near East and the Far East. A coastline of 2450 KM along the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
The country has been known for the Pyramids and the Nile river, the longest river in the world: the fabled waterway bisects Egypt and creates a rich, wide delta on the northern coast of the country, and a long it’s banks the population exploits the fertile land of the Nile Valley.
The celebrated tourist attractions of Egypt are the millennia-old monuments for which the Nile Valley is world famous. Principal among them are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza, the Abu Simbel temples south of Aswan and the Karnak Temple Complex and Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Cairo also boasts the Cairo Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the coastal areas of Sinai Peninsula are very popular with visitors as well
In 2013 Egypt was ranked 85th position of world’s best country in terms of tourism and traveling, while in 2011, it was the 75th and had about 14 million foreign tourist arrivals in the country in 2010.
Tourism sector which accounts for over 3.1% of Egypt’s GDP (contributed EGP 48.8 billion), reported a real growth of 2.3% in the fiscal year 2013 and employs over 12.6 % of the country’s work force.
The Ministry of Tourism is the authority responsible for overseeing tourism in Egypt.
Tourism Development Authority (TDA)
The TDA was established under Law No. 7/1991 that bundles the formerly fragmented responsibilities for the spatial planning of tourism development in Egypt and, generation of a comprehensive plan for tourism development, covering all costs along the desert areas of the country.
Egyptian tourism policy
Egyptian tourism policy incorporates sustainability as a general objective.
However, there are five inherent problems which hinder the achievement of sustainability in tourism:
- The general objective of sustainability fails to attend to more specific objectives in different aspects of sustainable tourism;
- there is an absence of sub-policies to link the main tourist policy and the required strategies for sustainability;
- there is an absence of accountability of a specific authority to deal with all of the issues that pertain to specific conservation issues;
- lack of harmonisation and integration of sustainability and protection policies between authorities; and
- inadequate and insufficient strategies as a result of the above concerns
Other laws related to tourism in Egypt include
- Law No. 1 of 1973 concerning Hotel Establishments
- Law No. 38 of 1977 concerning the Organization of Tourist Companies
- Law No. 117 of 1983 concerning the Protection of Monuments 38
- Law No. 1 of 1992 concerning Tourist Establishments
Tourism in Egypt has been summarized to include the following
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