WIT Press

Sustainable Tourism In Holbox Through Local Development


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A. Palafox, V. Pineda, J. Godínez & M. Martínez


According to the Bank of Mexico, tourism is one of the most important economical activities due to its capability of promoting a wide range of activities of other kinds as well as facilitating the creation of new ones. All this can be presented thanks to the 20.6 million international tourists and its 8 382.23 million dollars received during the last year. In this context, Quintana Roo received 45% of the total amount of tourists that enter into the country; besides, the state concentrates 12% of global hotel infrastructure in Mexico with 57 906 rooms. However, the obtained benefits are concentrated only in five destinations of the state: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Mahahual and Tulum. The rural communities, therefore, are building their own enterprises and participating in the tourism activity in order to offer themselves the opportunity to improve their quality of life, by preserving the environment, getting incomes, and providing jobs for the local people. These actions represent an example of local development looking forward to sustainable tourism. Holbox, a small rural town from Quintana Roo – Mexico, is a good example of this. Tourism has become the most important economical activity in this place while the natural and cultural resources are preserved. The inhabitants always look to improving the tourist activities such as the fishery, but controlling the number of visitors and appealing to a specific kind of consumer. Through tourism in Holbox, the residents have had the opportunity to build enterprises in order to offer services to the tourists such as restaurants, small hotels and recreational attractions like The Kite Surf, Tours, and Swims with Whale Sharks. Although several natural resources of the community are the principal attraction for tourists, they appeal to a specific kind of consumer. That is why Holbox in Quintana Roo (three hours from Cancun by car), with a natural scene and kind people, is planning and organizing its economical activity through local development in order to participate in a global market. Keywords: sustainable tourism, local development, Holbox.


sustainable tourism, local development, Holbox.