The Grand Egyptian Museum and its Role in Achieving Sustainable Tourism in the Memphite Necropolis

Document Type : Original Research Articles



Egypt is considered as one of the weighty touristic countries in the world. It possesses a cultural and natural heritage that attracts millions of tourists every year. The Egyptian government decided to create a new cultural and heritage attraction which is the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) that will house more than 100,000 artifacts from the Pharaonic, Greek and Roman eras and will give a major boost to the tourism sector in Egypt. Announced in 2002, the GEM is believed to be the national Egyptian project of the century as it is one the largest museums in the World displaying the heritage of a single civilization. The Memphite necropolis is a historical place near the GEM and has many archaeological and environmental tourism attractions as well as many traditional handicrafts that form a diversified tourism product. However, there are clearly still shortcomings in this area to be put on the map of sustainable tourism. The existence of the GEM could be a strong motivator for achieving tourism development and finding solutions for the tourism sustainability in the region. The objectives of the study are to indicate the role of the GEM as a global museum on the Egyptian tourism sector.
The paper would find effective tools, with the GEM facilities, for revival and touristic development of important heritage sites in the Memphite Necropolis (specifically the strip from Abu Rawash to Dahshur). It shows the historical relationship between the artifacts of GEM that were discovered at the Memphite necropolis and their places of discovery. In displaying these artifacts and in demonstrating the story behind them, a connection would be created to attract the tourists for visiting their places of discovery (mostly including important pyramids). This would be a tool of upgrading and enhancing the archaeological map of the site for increasing the number of tourists by using the Tourism Routes and Trails starting by the GEM. Besides, the study sheds the light on the other factors of tourist attraction and identifies the problems facing the marketing and the tourism sustainability of the region to develop solution and proposals for it. It also indicates the main principles of tourism sustainability and proposes some means for creating a sustainable tourism in the region that serve the local community without damaging the region’s cultural heritage as well as its natural and environmental wealth.
The study relied on a descriptive analytical methodology based on a field study analysis. It describes and analyse the significance of GEM and the historical and archaeological importance of the Memphite Necropolis. It also sheds light on the problems facing the Sustainable Development and the needed Projects: A survey was made by distributing a random sample for tour guides, academic members in faculties and institutes of tourism and hotels, tourist experts, workers in ministry of tourism and antiquities as well as secondary data. The study concluded the necessity of sustaining these world heritage sites, completing and improving its services, making a good marketing plan for it, and including it in the tourist itineraries as main places for visits. Finally, it recommends some additional cultural, educational, entertaining, touristic, building, and economic projects for creating new motivations for the tourist attraction and more chances for a sustainable tourism. 


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