Through the ages, traveling through the world through tourism has familiarized the foreign. Unknown frontiers become urbanized; travel pathways coalesce around human evolution in spaces; and governance structures harness the power that such exploratory opportunities present.
This research navigates the spatial dimension of travel evolution alongside the attendant expansion of urbanization. It defines the nexus between tourism as a global demand and the physical infrastructure that accommodated such a force. The built environment, manifested in both its urban forms and its systems of mobility, has shaped and been shaped by many factors, including tourism. This work explores the historical co-evolution of urbanization and tourism. Egypt, considered one of the world's oldest tourist destinations, is used here to demonstrate the interlocking relationship of tourism and urbanization; it is difficult to separate these two phenomena because the evolution of tourism through time is not only attributable to demand, but also to the shape and form of the destination and the transport systems available in each era and locale.
This research focuses on the contemporary Egyptian era because it is dynamic and replete with diverse forms of tourism. Both professional and academic literature has widely discussed the concept of ecotourism as an important, and growing, subset of the tourism industry. Nevertheless, no accurate definition of ecotourism has been agreed upon. This research compares ecotourism to conventional or mass tourism along the Red Sea coast of Egypt. It systematically examines the tourist establishments in the study area based on identifiable environmental parameters, including swimming pool surface area, distance from mangrove patches, conflict with flood plains, extent of lawn area, and means of access to deep water. The investigation finds that ecotourism establishments are not significantly different from typical tourism resorts and that they create comparable stress on ecological resources. The research concludes that ecotourism is a self-proclaimed designation in this rapidly developing international tourism zone. The study recommends that future ecotourism operations be modified in two key ways. First, on the planning level, the regional master plan created by the central government tourism authorities must be modified to recognize the unique environmental characteristics of specific sites, and these plans must guide development with specific requirements designed to protect the region’s unique environmental resources. Second, on the site design level, significant improvements to design approval processes must be introduced in the build-out process to ensure compliance with environmental requirements and minimize stress on local environmental resources. After examining the Egyptian case study, the research explores the governing rubric for tourism development and land use in that area.
Despite being one of the most important revenue sources for Egypt, tourism development remains a byproduct of a very complex governing system. Although current tourism development causes much environmental degradation along the Red Sea coast (scholarly work has delineated its footprint), little has been written on the governance of this tourism development and its implications for the enduring environmental footprint of tourism along the Red Sea. This piece defines the various institutions responsible for tourism development and explores the relationship between institutions and development modes on their specific land jurisdictions. It concludes that tourism development will likely continue to create more adverse impacts if the governing agencies responsible for shaping its development do not overhaul their operating paradigms to take into account the attendant holistic and discrete ramifications of their appropriation choices.