Nature reserves are a means of conserving natural and cultural treasures which if lost, can never be restored for its importance. Several international organizations cater for nature reserves. In 1966, the Tourism and Conservation Authority was established. It belongs to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which caters for nature reserves and their management. With the growing attention being paid to the environment, the year 2002 was declared the 'International Year of Tourism and Environment', in accordance with a decision taken by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 1998. Later on, this decision was approved of by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The problem expounded in this study is the wide gulf between theory and practice when a certain area is declared 'protected'. An example is the 'Nile Islets' which were declared a nature reserve in accordance with a political decree that was not based on any environmental survey or study of the area. Moreover, the classification of protected areas in Egypt is not accurately defined. There is considerable overlap between protected areas, and it is evident that most of them suffer from lack of organization, management and protection. Many important historical, archaeological and rich cultural heritage sites in Egypt suffer remarkable deterioration. Some have completely fallen apart, and some have vanished or have being sacrificed to the bulldozer. This research aims at: (1) deciding the criteria and considerations required to declare a certain area 'a nature or cultural reserve' and the comprehensive tourism development needed; (2) evaluating the current condition (status quo) in the protected area of Al-Moez Street in Cairo. The methodology used in this research work includes: (1) The descriptive analytical method, (2) case study method, (3) survey method, (4) deductive method, and (5) analysis of the primary and secondary data related to the field of study using the statistical program SPSS - V - 11. Research findings have revealed that the criteria and principles of the sustainability of urban and tourism development of Al-Moez Street have been taken into consideration to a reasonable extent. This is also confirmed by the findings of the statistical analysis and the positive and negative aspects that have been observed by a team who paid frequent visits to the area.
Key words: Cultural tourism, protected area, criteria of protected area.
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