The Impact Of Local NGOs On Sustainable Tourism In Valle De Bravo, México
Free (open access)
R. Segrado & F. Farmer
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can play an important part in the development of sustainable tourism. While this may be accepted and their presence facilitated at national level, their actual impact at local level may not be all that could be desired. This paper presents the findings of a case study into the effectiveness of NGOs in promoting sustainable tourism in the rural district of Valle de Bravo in central Mexico. The study forms part of a larger project covering a wider geographical area but The Valle de Bravo area is of particular interest as a poor area which is nevertheless a destination for higher socio- economic level national tourism. Data was obtained through interviews with workers, professionals and administrators in three NGOs working in the area as well as local government departments. This data was triangulated with structured observations carried out in the field, and the results analysed to determine the problems faced by both tourists and the local community, and the limitations and opportunities for positive action in developing tourism and safeguarding the environment. It was found that in general the local community rejected the activities of the NGOs, with participation in their projects limited to the women of the community. The NGOs themselves were found to lack technical staff, funding, and the support of local government in both social and environmental protection projects. The impact of NGOs on protecting the environment was found to be minimal, and the current destruction of the natural environment by both tourists and the local community seems likely to continue. It is argued that to be effective, NGOs will need better technical staff and funding, better coordination between the different NGOs and more support from all levels of government, both local and national. Keywords: tourism, sustainability, NGOs.
tourism, sustainability, NGOs.