Michele Bigley from The New York Times recommends the underwater paradise of the Great Fringing Reef near Hurghada, Egypt, as a top travel destination for 2024. Located just an hour’s flight from Cairo, it remains an abundant marine ecosystem boasting 40 types of sharks and 400 coral species.

The reef’s resiliency is often credited to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, a non-governmental organization founded by divers in 1992. The group has since installed one of the world’s largest mooring systems (to reduce the harms of dive-boat anchors,) instituted a local ban on single-use plastics, and made snorkel tours and beach cleanups social events for residents and tourists. Last year, the organization opened three long-awaited dive sites to help minimize the impact on other reefs.

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