Egypt eyes green and sustainable tourism
Ministry establishes a department for environmentally-friendly development as US designers mull ways to turn Sharm El-Sheikh into low footprint 'eco-city'
Ahram Online, Monday 17 Oct 2011
Egypt will establish a department in the Ministry of Tourism to promote green and sustainable development, it was announced on Monday.
The decision, taken by minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, is part of a long-term plan to promote environmentally-friendly practices in the tourism sector, which was worth around $11 billion to Egypt's economy before the revolution.
In a similar move, Abdel Nour met with a delegation from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to discuss German finance for the 'green' conversion of a number of hotels in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
In 2009, the tourism ministry launched an initiative to transform Sharm into a green city that meets World Tourism Organization guidelines.
The first assistant tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said the ministry is using the services of Bose International to convert Sharm into a green city.
The US-based architecture firm has studied how to reduce gas emissions from hotels and cars, and examined previous studies on the region and city, Zaazou said.
Although there will be an effort to increase the amount of green space in the city, developers will also look for alternative energies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he added.
Solar electricity will play a role, he said, and electrical-powered vehicles will be introduced in a bid to reduce environmentally-damaging gas emissions.