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The Challenges of Geotourism in Egypt: A Case Study of Wadi Al-Hitan

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 10 Issue 2

Published: 2017
Author(s) Name: Maha Yehia Kamel, Suzan Bakri Hassan, Ghada M. Wafik | Author(s) Affiliation: Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Fayoum University, Fayoum City, Egypt
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Due to its novelty as a new distinctive form of tourism, geotourism has not been studied much. However, the Middle East consists of a rich geo-diversity, which is regrettably not well known by the public. Despite the development of geotourism, very few studies have investigated issues pertaining to it in the Middle East, particularly, in Egypt. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify the concept of geotourism and to explore the challenges of geotourism in Wadi Al-Hitan. This research adopted a quantitative approach by using single case study to achieve the aim, objectives and research questions. Data collection involved multiple sources of evidence, i.e. questionnaire, and direct observation. 61.5% was the average response rate. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 16) program was used for analyzing data. The results indicated that awareness and knowledge of visitors about the concept of geo-tourism are still less than the academic and official staff. It also found that the concept of geotourism needs to be known for the local community. The results showed that there were different challenges facing geotourism in Wadi Al-Hitan. A major contribution of this study is related to enhance the understanding of geotourism concept. The current research added to the growing geotourism literature through its review of the pervious academic research, generation of new ideas and interpretation of rich data collected from the different sources. Also, the current study contributes to theory through study extending our understanding of geotourism and its tourists in the Middle East, in particular, Egypt.

Keywords: Geotourism, Geotourist, Geosite, Geology, Geomorphology, Geotourism Challenges, Egypt

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