Egypt // The Red Sea Coast //

Eco-tourism or greenwashing?

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The Red Sea Coast’s booming tourism industry has prospered at serious cost to the environment. Rampant development, over-fishing, pollution, the degradation of coral reefs and increased pressure on water supplies are just a few of the problems. As the Hurghada Protection and Conservation Association warns: “Environmental deterioration is no longer a threat but a reality. Each day in the Red Sea we are witness to the depletion of the very resource base that attracts so many visitors here in the first place.” In recent years numerous “eco-lodges” have sprung up in the region. While some – such as those run by Red Sea Diving Safari – have genuine green credentials, many others are simply indulging in greenwashing. Similarly not all the dive centres and travel agencies are as conservation-minded as their promotional literature might suggest. The key thing for eco-minded travellers to do is to ask lots of questions – How is waste disposed of? What is recycled? How is power usage minimized? How does the local community benefit? What conservation efforts are being made? – before deciding who to stay and dive with.

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