The drop in the economy and especially in the tourism industry during the pandemic brought unfavourable consequences for Mexico and the rest of the countries that depend on this activity. In Mexico, tourism represents almost 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product with visits from more than 40 million international tourists. The amount of dollars that this generates, approximately 25 billion, creates concern in view of the reactivation of tourism. Those who are anxiously awaiting the opening of hotels and tourist attractions will be facing a new type of travel that has been positioned as the latest trend for some time: sustainable tourism.
How is sustainable tourism defined?Sustainable tourism is defined as the tourism practice that has the least impact on the environment, while generating and distributing income among local communities.
Its main objective is to find a balance between nature and the economic and social sectors. The World Tourism Organization establishes its basic principles:
- Conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage
- Tourism management that does not affect or minimize the effects on the environment
- High level of tourist satisfaction
- Distribution of profits among the society
in MexicoTheSustainable Tourism Program evaluates Mexican tourist destinations based on the use of natural resources such as water and the impact of tourism on the development of communities to promote sustainable models. Loreto and Ixtapa are some of the Mexican destinations that have obtained a distinction in terms of practices that care for the environment. Although Mexican tourism has not yet achieved a percentage that transforms the country into a completely sustainable destination, as is the case with Costa Rica, efforts continue permanently and, to achieve this, the cooperation of businesses, governments, citizens and all sectors of society is required.
Some of the main sustainable tourism destinations in Mexico are
- Sierra Norte in Oaxaca, noted for agrotourism, cultural tourism and bird watching
- Sierra Gorda Reserve in Querétaro, noted for its biosphere reserve and walks that benefit local communities
- Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche, noted for being one of the largest protected natural areas in Mexico
- The Cócorit people in Ciudad Obregón, highlighted by the creation of the Sonora Institute of Technology and its efforts to develop ecological circuits