Challenges and Opportunities in the World of Tourism from the Point of View of Ecotourism

By Fonseca, Fredy González | Higher Learning Research Communications, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Challenges and Opportunities in the World of Tourism from the Point of View of Ecotourism


Fonseca, Fredy González, Higher Learning Research Communications


Abstract

This article emerges from the analysis of the data corresponding to the tourism activity in the world and in Mexico, considering: the arrival of tourists and international visitors, and the arrival of tourists in the North American region. Subsequently, it is intended to place ecotourism as an option for sustainable development, which helps generate additional income for local communities and contributes to the protection and conservation of natural resources. The analysis of global tourism in the above categories, in addition to the discussion about the criteria and characteristics of ecotourism versus sustainable development, allows us to visualize the potential that this activity poses to emerging economies such as Mexico. The discussion about Ecotourism and sustainability shows that there is a mutually beneficial relationship when the community is incorporated in the development of ecotourism projects, as demonstrated in EcoAlberto Park. Nonetheless, an activity that has no government support or equitable tourism legislation, in addition to the absence of quality research, can overshadow any potential natural resource to practice ecotourism activities in global markets representing tourism.

Keywords: Global Tourism, Tourism activity in Mexico, Slow Tourism, Ecotourism, Sustainability

Challenges and Opportunities in the World of Tourism from the Point of View of Ecotourism

The development models that societies have adopted throughout the twentieth century were characterized by encouraging industrialization and promoting economic growth, rather than the maintenance of environmental goods and services provided by the ecosystems. In response to this situation, the international community organized several forums to discuss the effects of these economic development models, especially in the area of inequity in wealth's distribution and lack of natural resources care. 1

In this context, and as a result of these meetings since 1995, the Mexican government signed a series of international agreements and pledged to promote a policy oriented towards the conservation of existing biodiversity in the country, recognizing it as an essential wealth for sustainable development and promoting the well-being of rural and native communities, especially those settled in areas of environmental importance or subject to any protection scheme.

The challenge for sustainable development through nature tourism in Mexico is how to design a public policy directed towards the competitiveness of this sector at its national and international level, which results in improved economic and social well-being for the communities where corporations operate. In terms of concrete actions in the case of private companies, it must maximize their social responsibility, while creating support and encouragement to maintain and improve the quality of their operation. In addition, both communities and private companies should generate actions to comply with the standards established in this area, and also seek to obtain certification of service quality, both domestically and internationally.

The objective of this paper is to expound tourism challenges and opportunities in Mexico from the point of view of ecotourism. To accomplish this, first it presents an overview of the global tourism situation, placing Mexico in the same context and analysis categories, such as international tourist arrivals and international visitors to Mexico. To introduce the principal topic of the document, this is followed by the conceptualization of slow movement, ecotourism, and mass tourism; the relationship between ecotourism and sustainable tourism; and their characteristics according to several authors. Finally, it describes the potential of Mexico in terms of ecotourism activities.

Analysis of world tourism in 2008

Tourism is a social phenomenon that promotes the movement of visitors to a region or destination in the world with certain natural or artificial features aimed to leisure and rest. …

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