The November/December issue of Traveler features our annual “Places Rated” survey of destination stewardship, and this year 340 expert panelists rated 99 coastal destinations around the world. Here on the blog, we’re going to highlight some of these coastal destinations and are interested in adding your feedback to the mix. What do you think?
Egypt: Sharm el Sheikh
Rating: 38 — “In Trouble” Category
Overhyped and hyper-developed, the tourism industry in Sharm el Sheikh has gradually wreaked havoc on local ecosystems and done little to educate visitors about the region’s Bedouin heritage.
Why did the place earn this score? Read representative panelist comments after the jump.
“Has gone downhill over the last ten years. The Ras Mohammed Marine Protectorate has been grossly over-visited, and this has negatively impacted marine flora and fauna. On land, the area has become overdeveloped. The local people have not benefitted from tourism.
Future outlook is grim.”
“Has become a prime tourist destination at the cost of traditional cultural values. Local people may earn money from tourism, but they have had to change their traditional way of life in order to do so. Though outward expansion continues, a lack of fresh water may become a limiting factor.”
“The quality of the built environment suggests an absolute lack of architecture and design regulations. Development is limited to the beach/reef area. There is a sharp contrast between the coastal fringe and the desert behind. Coral reefs are over-visited.”
“Once spectacular. Now paved over. There is no sense of place. The model of development is not sustainable and does not benefit locals.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions
“Great diving spot but overexploited.”
Survey scoring system:
74-84 Top Rated
65-73 Doing Well
55-64 In the Balance
48-54 Facing Trouble
34-47 In Trouble
22-34 Near Catastrophic
See all 99 ratings and representative panelist comments online and share your thoughts below.
Photo: Kelli Russell