Sustainability And The Traditional Tourism Model In Baja California Sur, Mexico
Free (open access)
127 - 139
P. Ganster & A. Gámez
The traditional Mexican model for coastal tourism development that includes high rise beachfront hotels and urban infrastructure for visitors was extended to Baja California Sur in the 1970s by the national tourism ministry. Public infrastructure investment attracted financing from large private companies and tourism boomed, especially in the coastal corridor between Los Cabos and San José, where population grew at 10% per year and total visitors to the region reached 1.7million by 2008. Unintended negative effects of this development included environmental and social effects. Development in the coastal zone encroached onto the federal protected zone of 20m above the high tide line (location of marine turtle nesting sites), restricted access for local people to beaches, deteriorated viewsheds, produced discharges of desalination brine into the nearshore marine environment, and destroyed areas of dune flora and fauna as well as cultural and archaeological sites. Social impacts included significant migration from other regions of Mexico, growth of unplanned residential areas without adequate urban services for tourism workers, and creation of employment opportunities that do not favor local people. The analysis demonstrates that Baja California Sur traditional tourism development presents a clear danger to the coastal zone environment of the region, with significant negative externalities that inevitably will reduce the attractiveness of the area for international tourism. Strategies for stakeholders in BCS to mitigate further environmental deterioration and negative social effects are presented. Keywords: Baja California Sur, coastal tourism, environmental deterioration, social effects, megatourism projects, FONATUR, sustainability, regional development, Los Cabos.
Baja California Sur, coastal tourism, environmental deterioration, social effects, megatourism projects, FONATUR, sustainability, regional development, Los Cabos.