White Desert in Bahariya Oasis - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Ahmedherz
CAIRO - 24 April 2019: A group of 12 mass communication students at Cairo University launched in March a campaign called Egypt Invisible Map (EIM) to promote destinations fit for ecotourism adopting “Shades of Eco” as slogan.
The students perceive tourism destinations in Egypt as having three shades: green, blue and yellow representing respectively landscapes, seas, and deserts and mountains.
There are 16 ecotourism attractions in Egypt identified in accordance with the criteria set by UNICEF and UNDP. The list was compiled from UNICEF, UNDP, scientific journals, research papers, online surveys, and interviews.
1- Farafra Oasis
2- Dakhla Oasis
3- kharga Oasis
4- Bahariya Oasis
5- Siwa Oasis
7- Marsa Alam
10- Ras Mohamed and Nabq in Sharm El Sheikh
11- Makadi, Safaga, Gouna and Al Qusayr in Hurghada
12- Nuba in Aswan
13- Tunis village in Fayoum
14- Wadi Degla and Sant Samaan monastery in Cairo
16- Halayeb and Shalatyn
The various activities that can be done by tourists in those destinations include hiking, snorkeling, diving, Safari, animals and birds watching, camping, photography, meditation and stargazing.
“Ecotourism is defined by the International Ecotourism Society as: “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” The key principles of ecotourism include minimizing impact, protecting biodiversity, building environmental awareness, and respecting local culture. Typically, the primary attractions for ecotourists are flora, fauna, and cultural heritage,” as indicated by Rainforest Alliance website.