WIT Press


Is Ecotourism A Viable Option To Generate A Reflection On The Case Of The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, México

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ST120121

Volume

161

Pages

11

Page Range

141 - 151

Published

2012

Size

2,922 kb

Author(s)

P. J. Gutiérrez-Yurrita, L. A. García-Serrano & M. Rebollar Plata

Abstract

Ecotourism has been considered as the most important activity for generating wealth and restoring social ties of marginalized groups and less developed economies of fragile environments in Mexico. Indigenous communities live in well-preserved forest sites, but with small population size and proximity to areas completely degraded, they are the most vulnerable to collapse. The Biosphere Reserve Sierra Gorda is a protected natural area that has all the characteristics to develop ecotourism activities: rural tourism, adventure tourism, health tourism, recreational tourism and educational tourism of nature. But likewise, it is an area that faces severe environmental problems by excessive logging, fires, clearing for cattle pastures and agriculture land. But mostly habitat destruction for housing construction. Near the small centres of the population there are major geological faults and deep canyons carved by the action of river water. Water and wind are the most important natural phenomena that have shaped the mountain landscape and each year make it deeper and wilder. Pre-Hispanic communities inhabit those inhospitable to modern man with a type of European culture: Pahmes, HñäHñü, Chichimecas and Nahuas. Many productive projects have been conceived in this area, with more failures than successes and always, leave the regional economy more and more battered. The destruction of the environment has become a usual habit. Ecotourism has only served so people from other places have access to wild regions and transform it into something like a recreational park. Ecotourism is quite irresponsible. Ecotourists often lack culture, respect for social groups that inhabit the places visited, and leave the wealth in brittle environments?

Keywords

holistic ecology, fragile environments, responsible tourism, naturally protected areas, ecological law, conservation biology