WIT Press

Community-based Tourism And The Development Of Local Small Businesses In Rural Baja California, Mexico


Free (open access)





Page Range

653 - 663




3,231 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. Velázquez, J. Valderrama, J. Ruiz, O. Martínez, L. Morales, R. Verján & J. Flores


Rethinking rural tourism as an alternative path toward sustainable tourism is the focus of this paper. Rural tourism involves leisure quality activities with greater advantages: it is done in the outskirts, causes low environmental and sociocultural impact, and provides experiences that enrich the spirit and personality of tourists. Furthermore, it helps understand the host rural communities through friendly and respectful contact, and at the same time it generates profitable revenue which accrues a beneficial effect on the aforementioned communities. An overall tourism-based strategy of local development will require, as a condition to its feasibility, to reassess the active role of the communities, recognizing that it is in their own geographical and social scenario where all touristic activities happens, even if those are classified as small-scale economic activities. Therefore, the strategic priority requires that the local host community should be involved in all the working processes from the beginning. Effective sustainable options should then start there, \“from below”, considering economic alternatives but above all being sensitive to natural, environmental and sociocultural viability, as well as taking into account the so-called \“from the inside” perspective. Having started in 2003 and continuing to date, this academic task has provided to its contributors, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California researchers, the working experience with rural communities with feasible touristic possibilities. It has created, as well, the opportunity to get involved with


rural tourism, sustainable development, communities, small businesses sustainable tourism, local population, tourism strategies, rural sites