Footprints in the sand: responsible tourism in Egypt

Responsible tourism in Egypt - Footprints on the desert of Sinai with mountain view

Explore Egypt’s archeological, cultural and environmental wonders while ensuring that they stay protected for generations to come. Here's how you can reduce your ecological footprint as you discover this majestic country by acting a responsible tourism in Egypt.

Taking responsibility

Egypt’s tourism industry pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. Though it can take its toll on the local environment. To reduce this impact, Egypt has established 21 protected areas to improve sustainability, including Ras Mohamed National Park and Wadi el-Rayan protectorate. And many resorts have begun participating in environmental certification programs. Look for businesses that take part in programs like Green Globe 21 or Green Key – a mark of responsibility and ecologically sound practice.

There are many things you can do as a tourist to reduce your own footprint on the environment. Avoid excess packaging and plastic bags, taking care to dispose of all trash at the end of every tour. Water is a precious commodity in Egypt. So ask permission before using local pumps or wells and carry a reusable water container. Turn off your air conditioning and lights before you leave your hotel room for the day. And ask for your towels to be washed less frequently to conserve precious resources.

Sustainable adventures

A number of responsible or alternative tour companies in Egypt specialize in offering low environmental impact adventures. Get up close and personal with dolphins on an Onboard Adventure Dolphin Safari in the Red Sea, where you'll likely discover sea turtles and manta rays. Pay a visit to Wadi el-Gemal National Park, a biosphere reserve dotted with mangroves and marine islands where you can spot wild camels, sea turtles and rare bird species.

Wildlife and bird-watching tours and camel treks can be arranged to explore this protected region. Responsible tour companies like Lady Egypt arrange visits to popular sights like the pyramids. As well as cozy stays in environmentally-friendly Bedouin camps.

A pod of spinner dolphins in Red Sea Egypt

Contributing to local communities

Over the past five years, our Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis has been involved in a project to revitalize the underdeveloped region of Ezbet Khairallah. Although it lies within the city limits of Cairo, this unplanned district lacks basic infrastructure and is prone to crime. As a tourist, you can do a number of things to support projects like this. Including attending fundraising events and volunteering for community projects, which create much-needed homes and schools, tend overgrown gardens. And build drinking wells and dams. The Makhad Trust and Embah Safari are charities that organize community projects in the mountains and deserts of Sinai. To get involved hands-on, visitors can join a desert clean-up day with Egypt Uncovered.

Desert with mountains Sinai Egypt

Even if you don’t have the time to volunteer during your stay, you can show respect for Egyptian communities and customs. By being mindful of the local culture, learning a few basic words and respecting the privacy of residents. Ask permission before taking photographs, and avoid using flash when photographing paintings or ancient artifacts so as not to damage the pigments. Support local businesses whenever possible to ensure that your tourist dollars benefit the community that hosts your stay.

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