Hot, semi-arid environments - tourism impact case study

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  • The valley of the kings - Tourism pressure
    • Ancient egyptian tombs on the west bank of the Nile are under pressure from tourism.
    • Large no. of visitors visit the tombs each year and their breath raises the humidity in the tomb sofetning the plaster - people  touching or brushing against paintings cause damage
    • Irigation of sugar cane is causing problems as water-table rises , saline water evaporates into the tombs and salt crystals grow
      • in 1990 one tombs ceiling collapsed - had to close one of the tombs
    • Reducing human impact
      • To reduce  impact this included ,dehumidifiers , placing glass screens in front of the paintings and closing tombs on a temporary basis to allow humidity levels to fall
      • numbers entering the tombs are controlled
      • popular tombs have a higher entry fee
    • what has been done
      • A new visitor centre  opened in 2007 which should help spread visitor flow
      • Paths have been widened  between tombs to prevent overcrowding - and not to damage soils
      • Future option include - extending opening hours , limiting no. of tombs tourists can visit & possible options to reduce overcrowding


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