Sustainable Tourism along the Red Sea: Still Possible?

Amir Gohar, G. Mathias Kondolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Red Sea is a unique resource whose potential remains under utilized. Since the 1980s development for mass tourism has destroyed the northern coastal stretches as exemplified by the city of Hurghada. A number of initiatives have taken place in the past to protect areas along the Red Sea (from Marsa Alam city South), including introduction of ecotourism and coastal planning guidelines by the Red Sea Sustainable Tourism Initiative (RSSTI) in 2000-2004. Also, the “Livelihood and Income From Environment (LIFE)” program in 2005-2008 supported implementing pilot projects in national parks to demonstrate the appropriate processes. Since 2008, local NGOs (e.g; HEPCA) initiated sustainable practices such as Solid Waste Management and Mooring Buoys. Despite these initiatives, the main obstacles to improved planning and development is found to be: (i) lack of coordination within the ministry and stakeholders, (ii) lack of contextual design relevance to the Red Sea, and (iii) inappropriate land subdivisions and development in environmentally vulnerable areas. The solutions for such complex problems are summarized below: (i) Elevate land use planning above the ministry level, (ii) incorporate appropriate planning and building education, (iii) mandatory use of Land use suitability maps in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalCivil Engineering and Architecture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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