Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Blue Nile and White Nile

The two major tributaries of the Nile River are the Blue Nile and White Nile. The striking difference between them is their color. The Blue Nile, which begins in the mountains of Ethiopia, starts off with a bright blue color. As it passes through Sudan, however, it picks up black sediment that gives it a darker hue. The White Nile, which begins in the forests of Rwanda and flows through Lake Victoria, is a whitish-gray color, due to the light gray sediment it carries. Although the White Nile is longer than the Blue Nile, the Blue Nile carries around two-thirds of the Nile’s water supply. The two Nile tributaries join together near the city of Khartoum, and when the Nile River reaches Egypt, it divides into two branches, known as the Damietta on the right and the Rosetta on the left, which empty into the Mediterranean Sea.


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Global Social Media Success Stories at the 4th Annual E-Tourism Africa Summit

Jason Shlosberg, the American tourist who created of “The Battle of Kruger” the safari video that went on to become an award winning Internet sensation will be returning to South Africa to speak at the 4th Annual E Tourism Africa Summit taking place in Cape Town on the 15th and 16th of September.

Shlosberg shot the video on a visit to Kruger National Park in 2004 when he witnessed the most incredible encounter between lions, buffalos and a crocodile. The world famous video is now the 12th most watched video on YouTube with over 62 Million views to date, has won numerous awards and has been featured on National Geographic, Animal Planet and international news channels, and YouTube co-creator Chad Hurley named it as his favourite video ever posted on the site.

The video is widely regarded as the greatest example of travel content going “viral” and the power of user generated content to market destinations, with over 62 Million people watching South African content with no marketing input or budget.

This is just one of the many international social media success stories being featured at this year’s E Tourism Africa Summit, which is sponsored by both South African Tourism and Cape Town Tourism. Also appearing this year will be the digital team from Visit Britain, recently named the most influential online Tourist Board as well as leading digital agency MDS Ideas who managed the famed “Best Job In the World” campaign for Queensland Tourism in Australia.

They will be joined by top industry players from Google, Trip Advisor, Expedia, the International Federation of IT in Travel and Tourism, and others including the Founder and CEO of Travelbod, a new travel social network that connect travellers with local people to provide them with genuine local and advice and expertise. You can see all of the speakers and panelists here.

William Price, the global head of e-marketing at South African Tourism said the line up of international speakers will give the industry a real boost. “One of the most remarkable features of online and social media is the low cost and how it allows small players to reach a global audience. The Battle of Kruger has been seen by over 62 million people on YouTube alone and yet it cost Kruger National Park and South Africa absolutely nothing. The tourism industry needs to understand how to leverage these opportunities. SA Tourism is delighted to be sponsoring the E Tourism Africa Summit and we know that we will all learn and gain new insights from the summit on how we can turn real life experiences into online experiences that can be shared around the world for the benefit of both local tourism businesses and South Africa”, said Price.

Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism said it “Cape Town Tourism is again a proud partner of the E Tourism Africa Summit. We are committed to be a leading voice in eMarketing and social media and will continue to play a proactive role in this regard. It’s vital that the tourism industry keep up to date with new internet trends and understand how consumer behaviour is changing in the online space. The summit will be a great opportunity for tourism businesses to hear from global online experts such as Trip Advisor and Expedia, as well as sharing social media success stories in tourism – both locally and globally”.

The upcoming E Tourism Africa Summit will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Center on the 15th and 16th of September. The 1st day of the summit will feature a packed program of international speakers and the second day of the summit will be an optional day of training seminars on digital marketing, social media and e-commerce or optional panel sessions addressing critical issues for the development of local, regional and African tourism online. All delegates attending the summit will also receive the online tourism textbook – “E Tourism Frontier’s Guide to Online Tourism – the South African Edition” which is sponsored by South African Tourism.

Registration for the E Tourism Africa Summit 2011 is open now- please click here for full details, downloadable programmes and registrations.

Drinking tea in Khartoum

Sudan has a well rooted tea culture. Tea or coffee time is one of the most important parts of their daily ritual. The tea ladies come before the sun, lighting fires, shaking jars, spooning sugar. They hum and sing, lost women marked with tribal symbols, far from home. They sit and wait, kettles hissing in ember and ash, the great day beginning, rolling off the Nile like a damp, smothering cloth.

Their way of making tea is almost ceremonial. Just as Ethiopia has its own coffee ceremony, Sudanese tea ladies have their own special tools, a unique serving style and a unique relationship with their customers.

On her counter you’ll see clear tea glasses and about a dozen jars of tea, coffee, sugar, and herbs such as mint, cinnamon, cloves, as well as medicinal teas like Mahareb and hibiscus. Coffee is taken with ginger, and tea can be mixed with variety of herbs such as mint or cinnamon.



Dungonab Still Safe …But How Long Can It Last..

PORT SUDAN, Dungonab, (  The protected marine parks of Dungonab and Sanganeib have been chosen because of their environment safety for a scientific programme aimed at monitoring and catching shark and manta rays. The programme has started but changes have also occurred in the region, threatening its safety and tranquility. The question one asks is how long can it remain safe? Senior Reporter investigates the issues and writes back:-
I entered Dungonab small village, within the protected marine park of the bay that is named after it. The village’s wooden lodgings are spread a few meters away from the turquoise crystal clear water of the bay of clean white sand. The village was quite calm. There are few activities on sight, except for the winds that hurl and tussle, and dog play everything about.
I was wondering why the village was as desolate and quiet as if it were a graveyard. An officer of the park who was escorting me knocked at the door of a house he seemed to be familiar with and a welcoming villager soon showed up and he seemed to realize my astonishment.

Wind of Change

Equally puzzled, Eissa Mahmoud Ahmed, said it was the wind which they were not used to during this time of the year. This was not the first time, it blew several times, imprisoning them within lodgings and preventing them from going out into the sea to fish and earn a living. He said they did not know the reason but said it might have been caused by rains that fell somewhere. Even the women did not like the wind because, to their chagrin,  it kept men at home, he laughed.
However, it was not only the climatic change , the reason for which they know not, that worries them, although it adversely influences their life, but there is something else they recognize and feel even if it has not yet occurred, because of its disastrous impact on them, according to Ahmed.

The Heart of the World

I didn’t know much about this project and it wasn’t the reason for my visit to the village. I came to get to know the village and its contribution to a scientific project for monitoring and watching movements of the shark and manta rays in the bay. When I approached a villager to ask him about something, they all gathered to talk to me, thinking that I wanted to talk about the project.
I was astonished with their lack of information about it and their fear that it might adversely affect their life. I realized how mistaken the people in charge are for not allowing participation in the development plans by the simple indigenous people who lived in the region in peace and harmony with its nature and who suddenly realize that there is somebody intending to change their way of life altogether without informing them. How mistaken those officials are!!

Dungonab Bay and Mukwar Island Protected Marine Park:

This is one of two Sudanese protected marine parks on the Red Sea which are rich in an amazing series of aquatic life including the smallest creatures and sea fish up to the shark which comes at the top of the big sea animals, according to Mohamed Yusuf Abdul Salam, the independent advisor of the maritime Equipe Cousteau and Deep Today organizations, which operate in the Sudan, and former manger of Sanganeib protected marine park.
The two parks were examined by these two organizations for implementation of programmes for observing and monitoring the sharks and manta rays, which are threatened of extinction in all seas of the planet, to compile information on their behavior, how they survive and multiply with a view to protecting those species globally.
Major Nasr al-Dinn Mohamed al-Amin, of the General Administration of the Wildlife Protection Police and General Manager of the Red Sea protected marine parks, said the park is 2,808 square kilometers, of a length of 70 kilometers and horizontal width of 30 kilometers and is about 157 kilometers east of the city of Port Sudan. It encompasses two villages with a population of 300 families of 3,000 persons who all earn a living on fishing in shallow waters, using traditional implements.
It was recognized as a protected marine park on 13 October 2004 due to its international and national importance and because it possesses a diversity of aquatic wildlife and is the home of rare aquatic species globally threatened of extinction such as the manta rays, sharks and sea turtles.
Moreover, there are big and diverse gatherings of coral reefs which have not been affected by the environment disasters which have influenced many coral reefs worldwide. They have not either been affected by factors of the human tourist pressure. There are also different kinds of coral reef fish and other aquatic creatures. It is considered a potential coral refugee, bearing in mind the changes that occur in the global climate. It is a vast natural bay that hosts pearl shells that multiply naturally on the Red Sea.
In addition, there are 20 islands of different sizes and formations which are highly important for marine and wildlife. Those islands also offer home for both indigenous and immigrant kinds of birds and places for sea turtles to lay eggs. The existence of reptiles and other living creatures on Meteep Island (Jebel Abu al-Dood) puzzled the researchers about their survival and their feeding system.
There are stretched expanses of base grass which is important as food for small fish and other aquatic animals like the manta rays. There are also Mangrove forests which are important as home for many marine species, small fish and birds. The region also includes a number of straits and beautiful natural anchorages such as Khor Shan’ab and Kafial.
First Lieutenant Mustafa, of the Park’s Administration, says the rare coral reefs, which still maintain their natural characteristics, are considered like the Amazon forest in South America which contains all environments and sea animals. The animals of the Sudanese coast have remained unaffected, Mustafa said, adding that what is being carried out by the Administration is only a preemptive measure for retaining rarity.
The Sea is our Life and Our Food


Eissa Mahmoud Ahmed says he is a fisherman like all other Dungonab inhabitants; even the shepherds of camels and goats practice fishing and the women help in making nets and some of them fling them in the shallow sea waters.
He added that they catch different kinds of fish other than the sharks which are present in large quantities and of various kinds which they do not catch in compliance with a ban imposed by the park authorities two years ago.
Fishermen Mohamed Hamid Eissa, Mohamed Ali and Abdullah Odeed, say the urban development and valuable tourism industry may be useful to us, particularly the Heart of the World project that was installed on our island, particularly as the fishing has become back-breaking and expensive. We go on a fishing trip that sometimes take a full week and catch only 150 to 200 kilos of fish, the fishermen added.
Ali Wajeh, the Omdah of Mohamed Goul villages, agrees with his neighbors, saying: “All people of the village practice fishing… the sea is our life and our (source of) food … we don’t have any other source… we don’t take from it excessively and for this reason we don’t fear any change on its part but what we fear is the change that may occur as a result of the growing tourism and investment … particularly the tourist Heart of the World project on Mukwar and Jebel Mugursam. This is an important part of the Park where we catch shells for export … We used to set out on voyages for a whole day or week to get 20 to 40 kilos.”
Mohamed Ali Dukun, chairman of the Cooperative Society and leader of Mohamed Goul fishermen, said: “We have 300 fishermen and 90% of their catch is taken out of the village which consumes t6he remaining 10%. “ Dukun noted that Mukwar Island and Jebel Mugursam are “very important to us because they protect us against the outrageous sea and we take them as a refuge to protect us against the waves during fishing and we also use them as a resting place. We are not against urban development and tourism but we are concerned with our living.”
When negotiations began on the purchase of Mukwar to transform it into a five-star tourist island with hotels, towers, restaurants and an airport built on it, “we were prevented from approaching it and our future remains unknown,” Dukun said.
“We know that the quantities of fish decrease with the growing construction and movement on and around the Island, in addition to the increasing numbers of tourists who practice diving. We also fear the big fishing boats which come from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen,” the fishermen leader said.
He said a number of officials of the project visited and told us that a hospital would be built within t6he project and that they would offer us 50 SDG as a wage for each day in addition to two meals for work in the project which would provide jobs for the villagers.
Dukun went on to say the Island offers grass and trees for our animals to feed on.”We don’t know much about the project… we see people come and go and we submitted a memorandum to the government demanding alternative and rights, but until now we have not received a response… even the popular government in the villages knows nothing,” Dukun said.
However, fisherman Mohamed Ahmed said the project would develop the village. There will be a bridge linking it with the Island, Ahmed said, adding that they would miss their protection centers and rest-house in the Island. He said they were not satisfied with the first offer that was made to them and disagreed on it with representatives of the project’s proprietors and therefore nothing has started until now.
The Director of the marine protected parks said their plan for running the park is based on dividing it into areas of fishing, no-fishing, diving and other tourist activities. This plan comes in concert with the administrative plan that was made by the regional organization for conservation of the environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which bans unlicensed fishing, the official said. He added that the traditional fishing does not impact the park like the “sea sweepers”, which are big fishing ships that mostly come from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The inhabitants of the Park exercise control over their Park because they are the main beneficiaries of it and its resources, the official said. Guardsmen from among the inhabitants report on transgression on the Park by regional boats and citizens, he added.
He said they are mainly worried with the intense tourist season which begins in October and lasts in June bringing in about 8,000 tourists in the two parks each year. Although they do not fish, the tourists spoil the coral reefs for absence of anchorage for the diving boats, the official said.
He explained that Sanganeib Park is 12 square kilometers in area, that is, 6 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide. Declared a protected park in 1990, Sanganeib is a coral island rich in coral reefs. It is of a rare circular shape, the only one of its kind in the Red Sea, with a wide aquatic variety of 250 species of small fish, rare fish, decoration fish, sharks and dolphins which are found on the entrance of the Park, according to the official who added that there is also the whale shark which began to diminish as it is being caught for its fins.
He said diving is the prevalent activity in Sanganeib is regarded internationally as the most famous and favorite diving site because it is uninhabited and has no tourist activities other than regular visits by the citizens that occur twice a month during which they do not exercise diving. There is a lighthouse that was built in 1950 to guide ships and has become part of the international heritage, the Protected Marine Parks Director said. While fishing is banned, certain sites are set for diving, like the administration method applied in Dungonab Park, he said.
Any major tourist activity, like the Heart of the World project on Mukwar Island and Jebel Mugursam, could destroy the environment and resources of the Sanganeib Island, while the thick turbidity could kill the maritime life, according to the official.
He said they have no knowledge of this big project which he said is a federal, rather than a state one, and, besides, Chapter Two of the Wildlife Conservation Act permits establishment of any tourist activity within the protected marine parks on condition that a study should be conducted on the environmental impact on this project. He added that they do not known, either whether such a study was conducted or would be conducted or not. The proposal on this project was behind the delay in declaration of the Park as one of the international heritage sites, the Director said.
Dr. Abdullah Nasir al-Awad, Director of the Red Sea Fish Research Station, affirmed that the Dungonab and Sanganeib protected marine parks are still clean and lively and are free of pollution and, unlike other international  marine parks, none of their coral reefs is broken
The Sudanese coasts are characterized with abundant vivid unbroken coral reefs with a growth potential, Dr. Awad said many people believe that coral reefs are inanimate and do not grow; this is wrong, coral reefs grow if they break.
Excessive tourism may be destructive to the coasts and construction on them may also adversely affect the marine environment, said the official. In order to aver this, a study and continued assessment of the impact of any activity should be conducted so that do not lose our natural resources and do not miss the possibility of utilizing those resources like the majority of the countries, Dr. Awad said.
The Professor of Fisheries and Maritime Bio-chemistry of Oceanographic College of the Red Sea University, Salah al-Dinn Yagoub, said an extensive investment activity in the Sudanese coasts or within the protected parks may destroy the fish feeding system, posing a major threat to the fish population.
He suggests as a solution an environmental feasibility study for a proposed project and if any harm is expected, supplementary environment-friendly investments should be contemplated; but if the harm is expected to be tremendous, the project proposed in the specific site must be dropped and another site or project must be selected. Any change in the sea followed by a change on the land affects life on both, he said.
Maritime botanist and Deputy Dean of the Oceanographic College, Dr. Sumaya Khidir, said quite simply, proper planning may make any project friendly to the environment. For this reason, she went on, concerned specialists should be invited for participation in determination of the manner in which the projects are to be implemented for utilization of the resources for the welfare of the local communities. The main question is how to plan and implement those projects, Dr. Khidir said.
The sea is bounteous and can fetch billions through tourist investment and other ventures but this depends on whether or not such projects come in the framework of a strategic plan for exploitation of the resources, said Dr. Khidir.
She said they have no idea of the Heart of the World project as it has not been presented to them for conducting an environmental study and assessment. “We have just heard of it,” Dr. Khidir said, adding: “it was discussed at the political and economic levels. The concerned scientific institutions should be invited to bid for studying it.”
Nasr al-Dinn Ahmed Awad, Director-General of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in the Red Sea State, said the two protected marine parks a rare marine diversity which until now retains its natural purity. 80% of the proceeds of tourism in the Red Sea come from diving as the area is rich in coral waters which deserve watching.
He said his Red Sea government is concerned with retaining this diversity and resources and they work with numerous organizations for raising awareness of the local communities about the importance of those resources. There is a full plan for utilization of the Red
Sea coasts in tourism and development and welfare of the local communities, said the Ministry’s Director-General.
The Heart of the World is a full-fledged tourist project but is a federal one and until now it has not been presented to the government of the State, said the Director-General. “If it is presented to us, we will make of it an economic project that respects the public interest and environmental resources of the region, he said.
The Director of Administration of Tourism in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Osman al-Imam, said the Heart of the World project the foundation stone of which was placed by President Omar al-Beshir in November 2012 on Mukwar Island in Dungonab protected marine park, is sort of a full-fledged tourist city that contains a chain of luxury hotels, diving centers, sports grounds, cafeterias and a small airport and the total construction cost is 20 billion dollars. Imam, however, said the project is still with the General Investment Organization and the execution has not yet begun no license has yet been issued to any tourist institution in the context of the project.
According to previously published information on the project, when completed, the Island host 150,000 residents, 120,000 employees, more than a monthly 90,000 visitors, 10 tourist and commercial cities linked together with advanced land and marine communication networks. It is surrounded with more than 121,400 feet of sea facades and it contains the most advanced sea port in the Middle East.

The Park contains a harbor of a capacity of more than 2,400 boats in addition to docks which can take in more than 700 big yachts in addition to an international airport that can receive large planes and can be a gateway for African and Middle Eastern airports. The project also includes industrial, media, knowledge, internet and business cities and a sports city that contains all kinds of grounds, racetracks and gold fields. The information has not made any reference to relevant environmental studies.
The investor that executes this project, the Saudi Arabian Husseiny Group, says the Park will include the world’s highest tower, though he stopped short of giving a specific figure.
The Saudi Arabian Investor, Ahmed Abdullah al-Husseiny, the President of the Group, was present at the ceremony beside President Beshir. Pictures of the project’s model show a lofty tower called “Al-Husseiny Tower” that is designed in the form of a gigantic sorghum ear.

By Ishraga Abbas, Senior Reporter

Scuba Diving in the Red Sea


Scuba Diving in the Red Sea – Sudan is a popular water sport for those looking to explore the waters of the historic Red Sea. The untouched reefs, beautiful corals and abundant undersea life make for a perfect dive whether you are going in for a day dive or a night dive.




Scuba Diving in the Red Sea – Sudan kicks off at Port Sudan. There are dive spots in the northern parts of Port Sudan as well as in its southern parts but most divers and dive operators go down the northern dive spots as this is where most of the interesting dive spots are located.


Port Sudan is within the Red Sea State.


Getting There


You can fly in via the Khartoum Airport or the international airport in Port Sudan, although international flights at the Port Sudan airport are limited. From the airport in Khartoum, you can get a car hire service which will take you directly to Port Sudan for your scuba diving in the Red Sea – Sudan adventure and there here is a major thoroughfare that links Khartoum to Port Sudan.


What to See


Scuba Diving in the Red Sea – Sudan, there is plenty to see and explore. Famous reefs such as the Shaab Rumi, Sanganeb and Angarosh give you excellent opportunities for viewing hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, oceanic sharks, grey reef sharks and even thresher sharks.


There are also schools of humphead parrot fish plus plenty of other small fishes swimming about.


There is also the wreck of Umbria, the Blue Belt wreck and Jacques Cousteau underwater habitat.


Brief History


It was Hans Haas who first discovered the wreck of Umbria down in Sudan’s part of the Red Sea back in the late ‘40s. Scuba Diving in the Red Sea – Sudan became a popular water sports ever since this first discovery of the wreck.


Diving in the Red Sea via Port Sudan is more pleasurable to most people as the dive sites are not as crowded as compared to other dive sites in the world.


You can enjoy your diving expedition relatively unhampered by other divers giving you more freedom to explore and discover everything that Sudan’s Red Sea has to offer.


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Tourism and the Environment


Tourism and Environment and  the knowledge of environmental issues and sustainability with an in-depth understanding of tourism in all its forms.

Tourism is a global industry of great economic importance, driven by our human desire to experience new environments, be it the natural environment of a tropical beach or the built environment of an old city. But uncontrolled development and business operations can lead to some major negative consequences like pollution, loss of biodiversity, economic inequality, and unsuitable cultural change. Recognizing and attempting to reconcile these often competing social, economic, and environmental imperatives that accompany tourism is a central focus of our program.

The need to preserve the world’s inherent assets for future generation is becoming an essential goal not only for travel and tourism but also for all other industries that used the earth’s natural resources.
However, tourism, as one of the world’s fastest growing industries, has a multitude of impacts, both positive and negative, on the environment. Negative impacts will arise when the level of visitor use is superior to the environment’s ability to cope with this use. Positive impact will arise when every tourist understands the real and main concept of environment and sustainable tourism by heart, not just by word.

Environment and Tourism Impacts

When we think of tourism, we think primarily of people who arevisiting a particular place for sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives, taking a vacation, and having a good time. They may spend their leisure time engaging in various sports, sunbathing, talking, singing, taking rides, touring, reading, or simply enjoying the environment. If we consider the subject further, we may include in our definition of tourism people who are participating in a convention, a business, conference, or some other kind of business or professional activity, as well as those who are taking a study tour under an expert guide or doing some kind of scientific research or study.

Then, environment is often used in its widest concept to and includes different aspects such as cultural, economic, political, social, and physical or natural type. This paper has a pure consideration on the last type. Physical environment is often referred as the key element of tourism (Theobald,1998p20).
The relationship between these two, however, might be complex; but it is very sensitive and close. Nevertheless, this relation includes some influences in every society that encourage people to become tourists, as well as the interaction that exists between tourism and environment
that might be negative or positive.

Negative Environmental Impacts of Tourism

Negative physical environmental impacts, resulting from tourism development, have occurred when the level of visitor use is greater than the environment’s ability to cope with this use within acceptable limits of change. It can be categorized into different parts. Here, it is referred to two significant one of them; Resource usage and pollution (Cooper, 2005p198).

Resource usage: It is clear that tourism development needs natural resources in order to facilitate its expansion. Therefore, water and land are two key natural resources that can be threaten by tourism. Uncontrolled conventional tourism poses potential threats to many natural areas around the world. It can put enormous pressure on an area and lead to impacts such as soil erosion, increased pollution, discharges into the sea, natural habitat loss, increased pressure on endangered species and heightened vulnerability to forest fires. It often puts a strain on water resources, and it can force local populations to compete for the use of critical resources(Holden,2000).

Pollution: It is one of the special tourism negative impacts on environment; although it is necessary to point out that tourism is a contributing factor to local and global pollution, along with other industries. It can be classified into water, air, and aesthetic pollution. The major sources of water pollution come from oil spills, industrial waste pumped into sea, and from chemicals used in agriculture.
the noticeable sources of air pollution regarding tourism is associated with transport, both air and car through the burning of fossil fuels. Noise pollution is also an understandable problem for those residents who live around busy international or domestic airports; however,noise pollution from construction of tourism facilities can bother both residents and tourists. A considerable aesthetic pollution is prevalent in coastal and mountainous areas; since tourism development is oftenbased on increasing profits whilst ignoring aesthetic concerns (Holden, 2000). In all above situations, tourism is environment’s enemy but they can be two close friends, if they planned correctly and also with cooperation of all other organizations or industries which are related to tourism directly and indirectly. In order to understand that whether they can be friends or no; at first it is necessary to know how they can help each other, which are enlightened in further sections

Positive Impacts of Tourism on The Environment
Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, having eye-catching growth over the past three decades. During these decades, tourism has been converted into a complex phenomenon, with economic, social, cultural, and natural or environmental dimensions. Environmental dimension contains the major attractions among different tourists in the recent years.

Tourism industry can help environment through several ways. Some of them are referred to as following:
Tourism can significantly contribute to environmental protection,conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainableuse of natural resources. Because of their attractions, pristine sites and natural areas are identified as valuable and the need to keep the attraction alive can lead to creation of wild life or national parks. -Tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. This confrontation may heighten awareness of value of nature and lead to environmentally conscious behaviour and activities to preserve the environment. -Direct financial contribution, can be considered as a way of tourism to help conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. Revenue from park-entrance fees and similar sources can be allocated specifically to pay for the protection and management of environmentally sensitive areas. Especial fees for park operation or conservation activities can be collected from tourists or tour operators

Government can collect money in different indirect ways such asincome taxes, user fees, taxes on sales or rent of equipments, and license fees for activities like hunting and fishing. Such funds can be  used for overall conservation programs and managing naturalresources. -Regulatory measures can also be helpful for offsetting of tourism negative impacts on the environment. For instance, controlling the numbers of tourist activities and movements of visitors within protected areas can limit harmful impacts on ecosystems and help to maintain the integrity and vitality of the natural site( Cooper,2005,pp197- 198)&( WTO,1999,pp3-19).

Environment is usually referred to as a key component of tourism Basically it is involved in all aspects of tourism. However, natural environment is very delicate and needs to be taken care of; but in fact, it helps tourism through its natural features at first(Ryan, 2003).

For all practical decisions in tourism, environment means the quality of the natural resources such as landscape, air, sea water, fresh water,plants life, animal and human life; and the quality of built and cultural resources judged to have intrinsic value and worthy of conservation (Middleton,1998).

Nowadays, regarding these complex and developed societies particularly in great metropolitans, natural environment attracts many people toward it and bring many different benefits for this industry. Generally, it can contribute to tourism development through short term and long-term programs. In the first program, financial profit is especially considerable but it doesn’t last forever and also natural resources might be damaged in a way that can not be compensated  and repairable. In the second one, may be the economic benefit is not very noticeable but usually continual for future generation use.

On the other hand, tourism and environment will be close friends for each other, if they planned in a sustainable process. One of the most significant examples of sustainability regarding these two phenomenons is ecotourism which will be discussed in next section.

Key Solutions for Environment-Tourism Problems There are some practical solutions as follow:
The sustainable use of natural, social and cultural resources is crucial. Therefore, tourism should be planned and managed within environmental limits and with due regard to the long-term appropriate use of natural and human resources.
Tourism planning, development and operation should be integratedinto national and local sustainable development strategies. In particular, consideration should be given to different types of tourism development and the ways in which they link with existing land and resource uses and socio-cultural factors.
Tourism should support a wide range of local economic activities, taking environmental costs and benefits to account, but it should not be permitted to become an activity which dominates the economic base of an area.

Local communities should be encouraged and expected to participatein the planning, development and control of tourism with the support of government and the industry. Particular attention should be paid to involve indigenous people, women and minority groups to ensure the
equitable distribution of the benefits of tourism.
All organization and individuals should respect the environment, the culture, the economy, the way of life, and the political structures of the destination area. -All stakeholders within tourism should be educated about the need to develop more sustainable forms of tourism. This includes staff -Local communities should be encouraged and expected to participate in the planning, development and control of tourism with the support of government and the industry. Particular attention should be paid toinvolve indigenous people, women and minority groups to ensure the equitable distribution of the benefits of tourism.
All organization and individuals should respect the environment, the culture, the economy, the way of life, and the political structures of the destination area. -All stakeholders within tourism should be educated about the need to develop more sustainable forms of tourism. This includes staff training and raising awareness, through education and marketing tourism responsibility, of sustainability issues among host communities and tourists themselves.

-Research should be undertaken throughout all stages of tourism development and operation to monitor impacts, to solve problems and to allow local people and others to respond to changes and to take advantage of opportunities.
All agencies, organization, businesses, and individuals should cooperate and work together to avoid potential conflict and to optimize the benefits to all involved in the development and management of tourism(Pender,2005).

On one hand, tourism itself has become an increasingly complex phenomenon, with political, economic, social, cultural, educational, bio-physical, ecological and aesthetic dimensions. On the other hand, natural environments, cultural heritages, and their diversities are major tourism attractions. The achievement of proper and desirable correlation between tourism and environment or between the potentially conflicting expectations and aspirations of visitors and host or local communities, create many challenges and opportunities. Although the challenges might be different, in detail, from a country, region, and place to another country, region, and place; but in general, when all challenges are gathered, it will convert to a global problem.

So excessive or poorly managed tourism and tourism related development can threaten physical nature, its integrity and significant characteristics. The ecological setting, culture and lifestyle of host communities may also be degraded, along with the visitor’s experience of the place.

Tourism should bring benefits to host communities and provide animportant means and motivation for them to care for and maintain their heritage and cultural practices. The involvement and cooperation of local and/or indigenous community representatives, conservationists, tourism operators, property owners, policy makers, those preparing national development plans and site managers in every place, region, and country is necessary to achieve a sustainable