WIT Press

Prospective Analysis For Sustainable Tourism In A Coastal Region Of The Gulf Of California


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O. Arizpe, C. Cabrera & M. Arizpe


In 2006, the income for tourism activity in Mexico was nearly 15 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 5.5% with respect to 2005. A lack of development planning could produce significant pressure on coastal systems, which could generate a shortage of resources, landscape deterioration, pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Future planning must include the analysis and integration of environmental, social, and economic aspects. This study aims to propose a planning scheme for tourism activities in the coastal zone of Loreto Bay in the Gulf of California, using a prospective analysis. The methods used in this study include micro region zoning through a Geographical Information System (GIS) and capacity of use evaluation. Based on the physical, biological, economical and social characteristics of the study area and the integration of fragility, pressure, and vulnerability indicators, 21 environmental units are proposed. Results showed that the predominant environmental policy would be management within 77.9% of the total area, while conservation policy would represent 22.1% of the area. The sites with major anthropogenic perturbation would need an environmental management policy, allowing high capacity tourism with the encouragement of sustainable tourism, but eliminating and further excluding any extreme use or high impact tourism. This methodology allows the determination of areas or zones suitable for tourism activity development. It will be necessary for the Mexican government to define and implement, with integrated criteria, the areas of relevant zones for sustainable tourism development in the Gulf of California with a better characterization, diagnosis, and prospective analysis to meet the long term sustainable development goals in this Gulf of California region. Keywords: sustainable tourism, environmental policies, prospective analysis, Gulf of California, GIS.


sustainable tourism, environmental policies, prospective analysis, Gulf of California, GIS.