Page 91 - Shj Tourism Annual Report 2019 English
P. 91

 Sustainable Tourism, Eco-tourism: Sharjah prioritizes the principle of environmental sustainability and protection of natural resources in all of its undertakings, including tourism. Due to the importance of the natural attractions that characterize the natural environment in the development of the tourism sector, the Sharjah Government and the private sector participate in developing eco-tourism and enhancing its position without compromising the components and composition of the native environment. In this context, the Sharjah Government has announced nine protected areas in the emirate, including the coasts, the marine environment, mountainous areas, valleys, plains, sand dunes, swamps and geological structures. The total area of these reserves accounts for 4.6% of the emirate’s total area. Work is underway to construct and develop two of the biggest eco-tourism projects in the eastern coast, namely: Kalba Eco-Tourism Project and Meliha Archaeological, Tourism and Environmental project. These projects will play a leading role in attracting tourists and raising the rate of visitors who want to enjoy the activities and landscapes of the wild, heritage and cultural sites in the region. These projects will contribute directly to protecting the natural plants of the area, in addition to preserving the biodiversity and the animal distribution therein. The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as: “Tourism that takes into account its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, and that meets the needs of visitors, industry, the environment, and host communities.” The SCTDA takes into account the principle of sustainable tourism in all its activities, and as its strategy is based on strengthening the three key aspects of sustainable and responsible environmental tourism, which are: minimizing impact, protecting the environment, and enhancing cultural awareness and respect.  91 91 Annual Report - 2019 The Story of a Year 

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