Tourism in an interdisciplinary field, which influences the sectors of hotels, resorts, airlines, restaurants, tour operators, and many other domestic and international sectors. As the tourism potential of a country grows, the ability of the country to generate more foreign income and undergo rapid development changes increases (Golden & Ritchie 2011). Not only the public sectors of a country are affected by its rate of tourism, but private sectors are also equally affected (Builds & Costa 2006).
The hospitality industry is directly dependent on the tourism support of the industry.
Foreigners, when come to visit a place, they tend to book rooms in hotels rather than renting a house. This is where a major chunk of the hotel industry is generated. Tourism has received substantial attention over the last few decades, emerging as one of the predominant income sources of a. European countries have outshines other countries with the steady growth in their tourism sector over the years. However, the vitality of the tourism is not limited to the Western countries alone as pronounced development and growth can be seen in a number of Asian and African countries (Brother 2008).
Egypt, the chosen country for the research, has become one of the popular destinations for foreign visitors; primarily because of its historical monuments, which dates back to the early B. C. s and connects many civilizations that exist till date. According to the research by Bullet (1980), the founder of the Tourist Area Life Cycle model, the Western tourism industry (particularly in Germany, England, and France) has flourished more rapidly and steadily as compared to the Asian and African tourism industries (Bullet 1980).
Hovering (2002) defines that the rate of tourism is the derivative of political, social, economic, environmental, and genealogical factors. Countries, which are sound politically, have enough capital to spend on the development of tourist destinations, and are rich in their technological, historical, or landscape standing are able to attract visitors for a longer period of time before the site attraction is lost. Butler expresses that understanding the life cycle of tourist destination is complicated than understanding the life cycle of any other product like an automobile, cell phone, etc.
A destination that grows in popularity due to its central position and historical connections can lose its charisma if it’s overcrowded, and visitors have to go through great difficulties in exploring the entire place (Butler 2009). Thus, the life cycle of tourist destination is influenced by a number of other factors, which are insignificant in other products. The current study on the tourism industry in Egypt will be centered on the concept of Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC).
The conceptual framework of TALC presents that every tourist destination, irrespective of its attractiveness and historically rich standing, will experience a decline in the number of visitors after a certain time. The factors that intricate to the increase and decrease of the life cycle of a particular destination will be covered in the paper. Egypt, with a strong tourism outlook, has been experiencing a noticeable decline in its tourism industry.
Thus, the researcher will endeavourer to analyses the chosen country in terms of the TALC model and shed light on the current and anticipated threats to the future development of the tourism industry of Egypt. Tourism Industry of Egypt Rationale for Selection of the Country The pyramids in Egypt have always been the distinctive mark of the country, which has attracted visitors from all corners of the world for centuries. According to the report by Salesman, the revenue generated by the Egyptian tourism sector in 2010 outclassed the revenues of all other public and private sectors of the country, which were estimated to be 12. Billion US dollars (Salesman 2014). The coast of Red Sea of Egypt has remained to be the favorite destination for foreign tourists and has been developed explicitly over the last few years. Furthermore, there is still a great part of Egypt, which is completely deserted. This has given rise to safari and desert tourism in the country. The Whale Valley region (original name of Wad al-HITA), located at he south of Cairo city, is the first destination in Egypt that has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
This has not only brought the region into the limelight, but has also benefited the regions close to the coast of Cairo (Abraham 2009). The current scenario, however, sheds light on some of the darker aspects of the country. The 2011 political revolt in Egypt had a profound impact on many sectors of the country, tourism to be a conspicuous one (Nassau 2012). The ratio of international visitors has declined in the last couple of years, and this opens room for exploring he downside of the country and prevailing threats to the Egyptian tourism industry.
The government of the country has announced to double their investment to improve the overall outlook of the country and regain their tourism potential. Thus, selecting Egypt will provide grounds to compare the past strategies with the recent reforms, leading to better analysis of the TALC concept. GAP of Egypt Unlike other developed African economics, which had troubled in stabilizing their Gross Domestic Product (GAP), Egypt has enjoyed a steady growth over a period of one decade. The GAP of the country, as reported by the World Bank in 2013 was 57. 29 billion US dollars, as compared to 188. 8 US dollars in 2010, with a growth rate of more than 1. 3%. This tells that despite the decline in the tourism industry after 2010, the government has been able to capitalize its other industrial sectors, ensuring an unremitting trend of GAP growth of the country. This also explains the current potential of the country in investing the tourism sector as the country would not be amenable to invest in a stagnant industry if its economy was shrinking. Figure 1 : GAP Trend of Egypt from 2005, Trading Economics (2014) Overview of the Tourism Industry Egypt tourism industry is both highly flourishing and highly vulnerable at the same time.
The report by Urdu and Kessler (2009) address the fact that the tourism industry of Egypt is greatly affected by outside tensions and conflicts, particularly in the Muslim world. Being a Muslim country, it is often perceived by the international visitors from the mirror of overall Islamic states. For this reason, political and racial conflicts in other Islamic states, particularly the African Islamic states, have a profound impact on the tourism industry of the country. On the brighter side, the ours sector of the country has recovered substantially from the aftermath of Iraq wars, followed by other political tensions in the Muslim states.
China has played a crucial role in stabilizing Egypt tourism industry. An investment of nearly 2. 7 billion US dollars has been made by the private sectors of China, in order to attain global recognition through the channel of Egypt. More than 100 million Chinese travelers visit Egypt each year for business and other purposes. This can be associated with the mutual agreement signed between the two countries to establish numerous stories of glass, ceramic, textile, cement, electronic gadgets, and construction goods industry with Joint proprietorship.
Furthermore, the annual report of the Ministry of Tourism pointed out Russia to be among the top countries with a large number of citizens to visit Egypt in the last 5 years, approximately 1. 5 million tourists. Germany, England and Italy account for about 1 million tourists each to Egypt. The Arab people are also among the active visitors of the country, with an attendance of nearly 2 million from 2008-2011 (Urdu & Kessler 2009). Diving and Marine Tourism sectors are errantly the underdeveloped segments of the domestic tourism industry.
Abraham states that the issue of global warming has greatly benefited the divine and marine tourism, encouraging people to spend their vacations on beaches and marine areas. It has been anticipated that these forms of tourism will grow further in the near future. Thus, the development of these tourism sectors can help the country to open more doors for international tourists, and also to shift population from the most popular tourism destination of the country. In his speech, Egypt Prime Minister Dry.
Aimed Nazi stated that, the region of Share-el-Sheikh has become overly crowded due to extensive tourism activities. This has also adversely affected the environmental conditions of the region. Thus, the government will be planning to develop other resources that can shift population from Share-el-Sheikh, without affecting the tourism rate. Thus, it can be forecasted that divine and marine tourism will soon grow in the country, being the alternate option to attract international visitors (Abraham 2009). Relation of tourism industry with the Private Sectors of the Country Role of the Private Sectors
The growth of the tourism sector greatly benefits a number of private sectors of the country, the airlines and hotel sectors to be the most discernible ones. Milne and Dialectic (2001) elaborate that the parallel growth and revenue generation of private from international tourism is the primary intent of their investment in the tourism industry. According to the research by Malice (2000), more than 68% of the total investment in the tourism sector of Egypt comes from the private industries of the country. This elucidates the dependency of Egypt tourism industry on the private industries.
The problem that arises in such a situation, as highlighted by Malice, is that most of the private sectors are profit-oriented, and are mainly concerned with high turnover rate from the industry. Thus, the issues of environmental sustainability, echo-friendly tourism, and protection of natural resources are often overlooked by the major investors in the industry. As mentioned earlier that the government is planning to move the crowd from Share-el-Sheikh to new regions, with meager tourist popularity, the decision can be impeded by the disinterest of the private investors. The initial response would be a decline in revenue from Share-el-
Sheikh, which can rebuffed to accept by the private sector. Natural Change and Climatic Conditions Tourist attraction for a place is not limited to the historical richness and other leisure facilities at the location, but also the environment and whether conditions of the place. Agene and Population (2006) state that if tourist experience bad weather conditions on their first visit to a site, the probability of their second visit to the same location or their recommendation to others decreases to a great extent. The beaches in Egypt hold a central place in the overall tourism industry of the country.
Very hot climate can restrain people from going to the beaches. Furthermore, the factor of sea level is also imperative in the tourism outlook of the country beaches. There are a number of seas and rivers in the country, River Nile to be the most pronounced one. Thus, Egypt comprises of a great number of beaches because of the large number of its popular rivers, where people even come to witness the historical significance of the rivers. A natural change in sea level can greatly influence the beach areas, and connectedly, the tourism sector of the country.
Furthermore, it has been found by Kazoo, Usual, and Firkin (2008) that tourist prefer cooler weather when they plan their tourist destination. Egypt, being a hot place, is often not preferred as the place to visit in the summers. Theoretical Framework TALC Model and Egypt The life cycle of a tourist destination can be analyses from Butler (1980) life cycle model and Britton (1982) dependency model. Both models have presented the development and decline phases of a tourism destination, bringing to light the industries and sectors that will be affected at each development phase.
The TALC model is based on five stages; the fifth stage depends on the outcome of the fourth tag. According to Butler, tourism destinations attract local and international visitors with its unique features, environment, historical and cultural links, and other distinct attributes related to the destination. With the passage of time, the level of attraction lessens and visitors start preferring other destination to visit over that destination. Thus, the TALC model initiates with the involvement stage and ends at the rejuvenation or the decline stage.
Involvement Stage The involvement stage is the one when a tourist destination is mostly visited by local visitors and does not have global recognition. Thus, the local residents, considering it a potential for tourism starts its advertising on a small sector in order to receive more tourist. The majority of the investors are primarily small business owners; the ones who have their business set up near the destination (Bullet 1980). Development Stage As the destination steps into the development stage, the attention of international investors and giant local investors increases in the destination.
This is the phase that accounts for the ground level development at the destination, ensuring that it meets the international tourism standards. As the involvement of large enterprises and government augments in this stage, the advertising process is benefited to a great extent; however, the small business owners and contributors will no more play a significant role in the development and advertising of the destination (Bullet 1980). The high investment of China made to the tourism sector of the country in 2006-2008 exemplifies the development stage of the tourism sector of Egypt in this period.
International investors are only interested in funding a site, when they forecast high returns in the future (Abraham 2009). Consolidation Stage The third phase is of consolidation stage when the destination does not go through any substantial development work. The funding and development done in the prior phase continue to generate returns in this phase, where the growth rate become stagnate or tend to decline, but the overall number of visitors still increases (Bullet 1980). Historical sites in of Egypt like ABA Simile, Swan, Luxury, and the marvelous pyramids are the distinctive mark of the country.
Thus, whoever visit Egypt is very probable to visit these historical places and monuments as well. Thus, the historical laces in Egypt are the ones, which receive considerable visits from international visitors during this stage; however, the attendance of local visitors can decline at these places. On the contrary, local attendance at the beach, resorts, and religious places can grow in the consolidation stage; thus stabilizing the overall rate of tourist attention (Wabash 2003). Stagnation Stage As the site reaches the stagnation phase, the highest number of visitors has been achieved, and the growth rate becomes nearly zero.
This is the phase in which the destination will have to deal with the problems of over-crowding, traffic problems, environmental issues, and other issues generating from a high number of local and international visitors. Regions in the city of Cairo, mainly the resorts near the Red Coast of Egypt have been in the stagnation period for a long time, being the centre of attraction for tourists coming from different corners of the world. As Butler (2009) states that the monuments, technology, and other things pertinent to the destination will no longer be up-to-the-minute so visitors will not tend to come back at the same destination again.
Decline or Rejuvenation Stage This leads to the fifth stage of decline or rejuvenation. As with products like automobiles, cell phones, and clothes, one fashion could not stick for eternity and soon a new fashion brand will outclass the former one, unless some astonishing modifications have been made in the product (Butler 2009). The same principle applies to the product cycle of tourism destinations as well. When visitors have seen a place or heard enough about it, they will not feel the same excitement about that place as before and would desire to adventure a new city, a new location.
This is when the number of visitors starts declining, until the place is either refurbished or stored and converted into something new. Carrying Capacity Factor The regions of River Nile, Share-el-Sheikh, Gaza, and a number of other destinations in the country are encountering the issue of overcrowding and environmental issues due to it. The theory of “carrying capacity’ is germane in this respect, which illustrates that the tourist attraction and the global standing of a site decreased fractionally with the increase in the number of tourists.
There are a number of streets in Gaza that are having traffic management issues due to the current figures of local and international tourists (Abraham 2009). Furthermore, the water of River Nile has been subjected to a huge amount of dirt, wrappers, and food waste over the last few years, which can be conjoined to the increase in the tourist population in the area. The notion of carrying capacity states that as a place become crowded and full with people, it loses the attraction and charm that has motivated the visitors to visit the destination.
Thus, if a destination is not able to either reduce the crowd or manage it efficiently, the number of tourists will reduce it anyhow (Blamey 1997). Dependency Factor and Its Consequences According to the dependency theory of tourism, a destination takes support from external enterprises, communities, laborers, and governments. Higher the dependency factor of a site means that the destination has been supported by a number of diverse organizations, which can be indirectly associated with the high potential of the site (Sharply 2006).
Resorts near the Red Sea of Egypt are highly dependent on external resources and enterprises than the ones located at less famous regions of the country. Addressing the limitation in the dependency approach for a destination development, Milne and Dialectic (2001) highlight that the horror outlooks the contribution of local investors and contributors. The prime focus is put on attracting foreign investors in order to make the site globally recognized, thus, increasing the overall number of visitors.
However, if concern is not put to the interests of local visitors, the destination will eventually lose the local visitors and contributors, which can lead to the decline phase of the destination. The research by Gray (1998) found that the Tourism Council of Egypt is primarily concerned with the international organizations, pursuing their objective of augmenting international tourism in the country. The overlooked fact by the Council is that the numbers of local visitors have also declined sharply in the last two years, hurting major to country-side resorts and beeches.
A balanced strategy would be required from the government and Tourism Council of the country in order to attract local business and customers as well. If the development is not dependent on local and small sized contributors, there will be a high probability of interest decline in the local visitors. Threats to the Future Development of Egypt Tourism Industry After attaining global recognition and tremendous growth in 2009-2010, the Egypt ours industry is now on the verge of stagnation and decline.
Considering the current statistics and prevailing political and environmental instability of the country, it can be said that the overall outlook of the country tourism industry is currently in the decline region of the TALC model. 14. 7 million, 12 million, 11. 5 million, and 9. 8 million are the tourist figures of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively (Salesman 2014). Figure 2: Declining Trend of Egypt Tourists (Salesman 2014) This depicts a rapid decline in the number of visitors, both international and local.
Salesman further reports that the economic decline in the tourism industry is sharper than the decline in the number of visitors. This explains the fact that the number of the number of international visitors has declined more steeply than the number of domestic visitors. According to the Economic Theory, when international tourist visits a country, they also benefit other sectors by purchasing goods from the country, even at higher prices. Thus, the decline in the number of international tourist is more detrimental for the sector than the decline of local visitors.
The Egypt revolution is to the only, but the fundamental reason of the current declining position of Egypt tourism sector. The political revolution was followed by events of mass killing, bombing, kidnapping, and other pertinent events, which has made the country appear in the list of most threatening country. Thus, political instability and the adverse situation of law and order in the country is the biggest threat to the tourism development in the country. Choc (2014) reports the current bomb assault in the city of Cairo, which resulted in the massacre of a great number of South Korean tourists, who were coming to visit a Church.
Such events have created great tensions in the country, and have urged other countries to refrain its citizens from visiting Egypt. Cairo, being the favorite place for tourists, is now drowned in the river of political conflicts, religious enmities, and law and order devastation (Choc 2012). Hashish Kazoo, Egyptian Minister of Tourism, expresses that Cairo is currently going through one the worse period in its history; however, the rest of the Egypt is free from all political tensions.
Thus, efforts need to be put to separate the image of Cairo from the image of the entire Egypt. If tourists are amenable to visit other tourism destinations in the country, the revenue loss is still reparable (Alternated 2014). Political tensions lead to another discernible problem, which is significant in regard to the tourism sector dependency of Egypt. A great sum is contributed by international firms in order to promote their brand at the popular tourist destinations the country.
Cairo, which has been named as the most threatening city of the country, was also the ones that have attracted the majority of foreign investors (Nassau 2012). Thus, when the focus will be shifted to other cities, it is possible that he tourism sector will fall back to the involvement stage, where the interest of foreign investors will be quite low. The continuous cancellation of tourist flights, lesser population at the resorts and reluctance of other governments to support Egypt tourism industry has cut down the foreign investment to a great extent.
Thus, it is mainly up to Egypt government and the National Tourism Council to restore conditions, and make adequate funding in order to maintain the outlook and management of national tourist destinations (Butler 2009). The worsening of environmental conditions also plays an important role in the declining trend in the umber of tourists. The research by Abraham discusses that Egypt has enjoyed a steady growth in its tourism sector from 2004-2010. During its time, a number of environmental issues were raised but did not receive acute attention from the government of the country.
This resulted in the augmentation of these environmental issues, which alone diverted a number of local and international visitors from Egypt (Blamey 1997). The issue of sea population was raised many years ago, which is the derivative of a large amount of dirt and waste thrown in Red Sea coast, River Nile, and other crowded areas of the country. A number of environmental and marine issues were recorded due to the mismanagement of the huge population present in these areas. The problems with traffic management in the crowded areas of the country still subsist that adds to tourist dissatisfaction and deviation.
Thus, improper management of the tourists’ population and the prevailing environmental hazards is another major threat to the tourism development and growth in the country (Abraham 2009). As discussed earlier that natural change and climatic conditions play a vital role in the tourism sector of a country. The possibility of rise in sea levels stands as en of the critical threats to the tourism sector of the country (Hamilton Ala 2005). In the 2004 report of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (COED), Gradual, Moorhen, Rare, and Conway claim that a rise of 0. Meters in the sea level of River Nile can exterminate nearly 49% beach area of the country. This is a significant figure in the context that a large population of tourists is centered at the country beaches. In addition to this, 7% of the population, 65. 9% of the industrial sector, and 75. 9% of the service sector of the country would be placed below sea level. This would augment the risk factor to a substantial extent, and a large area of the country would become unfit for not only tourism, but for living (Gradual et al 2004).
Recommendations As the Egyptian government looks forward to boost the tourism sector of the country, certain changes need to be made in the current procedural and management setting of the sector. The Nature Conservation Sector (NCSC) and Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EAI) proposed an environmental protection plan by declaring all the coral reefs of the Egyptian Red Sea as the protected area. This means that visitors ill not be permitted in these areas in order to get control on augmenting environmental concerns and ensuring that the Sea remains attractive to visitors.
Despite the strong potential of the proposal, the government has been lethargic to proceed with this proposal. It is recommended to start working on the proposal in order to secure the marine life and other natural resources related to the Red Sea of Cairo. With a pleasant environment, the Tourism Council will have greater probability to attract international tourists (EAI 2006). Considering the current situation of the sincerest of foreign investors, it is time for the government to motivate local investors, both big and small, to Join hands with the government in reforming the industry.
As the number of local visitors has gone through mild decline, there still lies potential for the local investors in the tourism industry of the country. It is apparent from the aforementioned researches and news reports that the political instability and law and order crisis remain the burning issue for the country, hurting the tourism industry severely. Thus, the government needs to endure secure conditions or visitors in order to improve the global outlook of the country.
Shifting focus from Cairo to other cities can be a temporary solution for the problem, but it will also have drawbacks of the disinterest of international investors and the spread of societal crimes in other cities. Thus, the government needs to collaborate with the NUN and other local and international anti-terrorist bodies in order to restore proper law and order situation in Cairo and other parts of the country in order to reform the tourism industry (Nassau 2012). References Agene, M & Population,J 2006, ‘Impacts of short-term climate variability in the UK on emend for domestic and international tourism.