The Potential of Ecotourism in Siwa Oasis: Opportunities and Obstacles

Ashraf Alhaddad, Osama Ibrahim, Hoda Lotaif

Abstract


Egypt is endowed with a natural heritage as rich as its cultural heritage. The country’s future is dependent on the wise and sustainable use of its natural resources. Ecotourism is in the core of the tourism development strategy in Egypt and there is considerable effort to promote such type of tourism. Ecotourism is one of the most rapidly expanding forms of tourism, with an estimated growth rate of one of the largest industries in the world. Siwa Oasis is foreseen to be one of the major destination for ecotourism not only in Egypt but also worldwide and it is the most mysterious of all of Egypt's Oases; its history has been formed by many civilizations. Despite the Siwa Oasis destination contains much potentials for ecotourism, the   major natural Siwa protected area and also its very rich in cultural and natural assets which could create various amazing activities for ecotourists, ecotourism programmes were designed by tour operators are minimal and it does not occupy a significant position on the touristic map of Egypt. This paper is an attempt to highlights and identifies the major potentials in Siwa Oasis as well as figures out the opportunities and hurdles that preclude its development. The paper uses descriptive and analytical methodology and it embraces a mixed strategy that is needed to investigate different components of the study. And also it analyzes the factors that lead to the declining of the tourism industry in the oasis and proposes a vision for developing the oasis to be one of the major destinations of ecotourism in Egypt as well as worldwide.

Keywords


Ecotourism, protected areas, potentials, tourism development, cultural and natural heritage, Siwa Oasis, Egypt.

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