Tourism And Sustainability Indicators As Planning Tools For A Coastal NPA In Mexico
Free (open access)
355 - 364
E. Núñez-Lara, A. Cahuich-Carrillo, A. Delgado-Estrella, S. Laffon-Leal
The southern coast of Campeche State, in the Gulf of Mexico, is currently transitioning from traditional activities to tourism. This activity might represent a sustainable alternative for the use of the highly diverse natural and cultural resources and a socioeconomic benefit for the people of the region. The objective of the study was to conduct a multidisciplinary study to analyse the socioeconomic and environmental context of a coastal region located within a Natural Protected Area. The approach was primarily based on tourism and sustainability indicators selected in order to understand: i) the historic use of natural resources; ii) the perception of residents and visitors regarding the current transition to tourism; and iii) whether stakeholders’ prospective analysis is based on accurate information and on a sustainable model. Results revealed that the historic exploitation of natural resources has been intensive and clearly unsustainable. Nowadays, estuarine ecosystems seem to be relatively well conserved, enclosing populations of dolphins, sea turtles and sea birds. Socioeconomic indicators show that poverty and marginalization result in a low quality of life, inaccessible basic services and moderate development opportunities. Tourism indicators showed that both local residents and visitors perceive eco-tourism as a good opportunity for socioeconomic progress, although they only distantly recognize a threat to natural resources. The results of this study offer a simplified summary based on accurate indicators and a sustainable perspective, pretending contribute in the planning process of the region.
sustainable development, ecotourism, sustainability indicators, tourism indicators