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Environmental marine tourism standards in Egypt now available nationwide

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Marine conservation charity asks tourists to look for Green Fins when planning their holiday

The Reef-World Foundation and Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) are pleased to announce Green Fins – a UN Environment Programme initiative which provides the world’s only internationally recognised standards for diving and snorkelling – has now been expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators nationwide across Egypt.

Green Fins was piloted in South Sinai Governorate in September 2019 and has now been expanded nationwide, following a week-long training for six new Green Fins Assessors in Red Sea Governorate (23 to 29 February 2020). Through the implementation of the Green Fins initiative nationally, the Egyptian marine tourism industry is playing its part in protecting coral reefs from the negative impacts associated with diving and snorkelling.

Following the recent lifting of UK flight restrictions to Sharm el Sheikh, and the resultant increase in tourism to the already popular country, The Reef-World Foundation is reminding tourists of the importance of protecting the reefs they visit; urging them to follow environmental best practice and book with a Green Fins operator wherever possible. The CDWS is rallying more dive centres to sign up to the Green Fins initiative to help improve their sustainability and prove they are following environmental best practice.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris as well the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which helps identify and mitigate these risks through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said:

We’re proud to be helping protect Red Sea coral reefs by expanding Green Fins nationwide across Egypt. Congratulations to the Green Fins Hurghada Assessor team members who are now certified to recruit, train and conduct robust assessments to evaluate the environmental impact of dive and snorkel operators in the country. They will also provide training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs and offer practical, local and low-cost solutions to these threats. Through their one-to-one consultations, the Green Fins national team in Egypt will play a vital role in helping the country’s marine tourism industry improve its sustainability; ultimately, protecting the Red Sea’s precious coral reefs for future generations.”

Hesham Gabr, Chair of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said:

To date, nine Egyptian dive and snorkel operators have already joined the global network of nearly 600 trained and assessed Green Fins members, with significant interest from other operators who are awaiting their training and assessment. In the coming year, we aim to certify 30 marine tourism operators, train 150 dive guides and raise awareness of sustainability best practice among 30,000 tourists. Green Fins is a critical part of our ambitious action plan to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt and we are excited to see the continued results.”

Amr El Ezabi, Director of the Egyptian State Tourist Office (UK and Ireland), said:

This is the kind of partnership I value and search for. Based on respect, exchange of knowledge, building capacity and at the end realise the targets through sharing the culture. It fulfils all the requirements of sustainability. We are building a community together. Marketing the Red Sea on this basis is solid and sustainable. We are very happy about the implementation of Green Fins in Egypt.”

While Green Fins is usually adopted by a government body (which integrates the programme’s activities with their annual plans and absorbs associated costs), in Egypt the industry has collaborated to bring Green Fins to the area through the CDWS. CDWS is a non-profit organisation and Egyptian operators pay an annual CDWS membership fee of 5,500 Egyptian pounds (LE) to cover costs associated with audits. For those who would like to voluntarily participate in Green Fins, an additional fee will be charged to cover the associated costs of the programme. The Ministry of Environment is CDWS’ main counterpart in the implementation of Green Fins Egypt. The country is the first in its region and 11th worldwide to officially adopt Green Fins.

The Green Fins approach includes proven assessment criteria to identify and mitigate high-risk practices both above and below the water. Green Fins members are evaluated annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs: of a possible score of 330, the lower the score, the lower its impact. The assessment then enables Green Fins assessors to offer practical alternatives to the most pressing threats posed by that business. To ensure its members are fully compliant with the Green Fins Code of Conduct, the CDWS will introduce a minimum environmental impact benchmark of for Green Fins certification; a world first for Green Fins.

The launch of Green Fins Egypt was made possible thanks to financing support from the United Nations Development Programme through its project “Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into the tourism development and operations in threatened ecosystems in Egypt.”


For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org, www.greenfins.net or www.cdws.travel.

Egyptian dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can contact the Green Fins Team at CDWS (egypt@greenfins.net).

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Tourism Fiji celebrates Open for Happiness Campaign (Watch Trailer)

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As international borders reopen to the world this week, Tourism Fiji launched the first video piece in it’s Open for Happiness campaign. The team celebrated this at an event at Wyndham Resort Denarau Island, where they unveiled some of the content to crew who worked on the production as well as tourism stakeholders.

Tourism Fiji is delighted to partner with award-winning actress, comedian and producer, Rebel Wilson, the new Ambassador of our global reopening campaign.

Ms. Wilson has fond memories of visiting Fiji as a child and returned to share her love of a destination that offers so much to visitors and is largely vaccinated.

She was joined by a talented pool of Fijian cast and crew to shoot Tourism Fiji’s Open for Happiness campaign in the Mamanuca Islands, where she also sampled a range of experiences.

“Rebel is a talented actress and demonstrates a unique ability to bring her own style of heartfelt humour to the ad that Tourism Fiji is creating,” said Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji.

“We’re delighted to have her as an ambassador who resonates with Fiji and our key tourist markets; Australia, North America, New Zealand and Europe.”

Rebel hiked, did yoga, stand up paddleboarding, scenic helicopter tour, spa treatment, cocktails and visited a popular sandbar.  She was seen stepping out in some local designer wear from Samson Lee and Zuber and enjoyed the hospitality of Vomo Island Fiji.

Her destination highlights of Fiji were shared with her fanbase, including 10.3 million followers on social media platform Instagram, and helped amplify Fiji’s allure as a holiday destination that has now safely reopened to international travellers on December 1st.

Filmed in Fiji over the course of last month, the campaign is the result of the collaborative work of several local partners including activity providers, talented singers, entertainers, videographers, local actors, and extras on set.

“This campaign would not have been possible without the support of our industry stakeholders, and we’re pleased to showcase a global star such as Rebel and the talent of local cast and crew,” said Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji.

Rebel also enjoyed a sunset cruise featuring a live performance by talented local artist, Apakuki “Kuki” Nalawa and shared snippets across her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels.

“With all that’s happened over the last two years, tourism has been badly affected and the entertainment industry has been hit hard by this as well, – the live performance was an eye-opener, a breath of fresh air and gave us all hope that things will get better,” Mr Nalawa said.

“It’s so encouraging to witness a Hollywood actress and her media team enjoying not only the beauty that our country has to offer but also recognising the level of talent we have.”

Tourism Fiji’s Open for Happiness campaign with Rebel will be used into 2022. Further video clips will launch over the coming weeks.

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Announcing the Winners of the DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition 2021

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DivePhotoGuide (DPG) and Wetpixel are proud to announce the winning images and videos in the 2021 edition of the DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition. Once again, hundreds of photographers and filmmakers from dozens of countries competed in what has become known as the “World Championship” of international underwater imaging events.

Created by DPG and Wetpixel, two of the largest online resources for underwater shooters, the competition invited submissions to five image categories and a video category, with entries evaluated by a panel of illustrious industry experts and award-winning photographers: Florian Fischer, Imran Ahmad, Jennifer Hayes, Mike Bartick and Stephen Frink.

This year, Martin Broen received the “Best of Show” prize for his 1st place in the Black and White category. The image, a jaw-dropping capture of the pristine stalactites and stalagmites in a Mexican cenote, earned Martin the top cash prize of $1,000. The 1st place winners in the other categories were Julian Hsu (Macro Traditional), Sander van der Heijden (Macro Unrestricted), Enrico Somogyi (Wide Angle Traditional), Tom Shlesinger (Wide Angle Unrestricted) and Alex del Olmo (Video); each of them received a cash prize of $250.

In a joint statement, DPG Editor-in-Chief Joseph Tepper and Wetpixel Publisher Adam Hanlon said: “Once again, the DPG/Wetpixel Masters competition has demonstrated the incredible talent that exists in our community of underwater shooters. As many of us continue to face lockdowns and travel restrictions, these photos and films remind us of the riches under the sea and why we must maintain our collective passion to protect the oceans we love.”

The organizers are pleased to announce that 15 percent of entry proceeds will once again be donated to marine conservation efforts.

You can see the full results here.

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Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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