Mexican Environment Sacrificed To Tourism

Essay by AKAaronCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Is generating more tourist income more important than preserving the environment? According to the Mexican governments policies the answer is "YES." American tourists love to vacation in Mexico and Mexicans like receiving the influx of American dollars brought by visitors. Tourism is the third largest industry in Mexico and developers are wasting no time trying to expand the market. In an attempt to draw more and more American and European tourist dollars, the Mexican government may be slitting its own throat. The Mexican government's department of tourism, FONATUR, has big plans for developments throughout Mexico. If the developments are successful it could mean big money for the Mexican government. Nevertheless, in the long run, the costs might be too high. These developments could be destroying the very thing that draws tourists to Mexico. The developments have the potential to destroy the natural beauty of Mexico. Tourist resort developments are not worth the cost because of the environmental destruction they cause for questionable returns.

FONATUR (National Fund to Promote Tourism) is the government agency responsible for much of the tourism related development in Mexico. FONATUR was founded in 1974 to develop resort communities and to avoid problems. Mexico wanted to avoid what happened in Acapulco. Uncontrolled and unplanned construction caused the city to be disorganized and ugly. The streets were dirty and the beaches polluted. This all caused tourists to go to other vacation spots (Call).

The biggest development in Mexico is a plan to build marinas all along the coast of the Baja Peninsula. The marina project, called Escalera Nautica or Nautical ladder, is being developed to attract American boating tourists. The $1.9 billion plan calls for more than 2 dozen marinas to be built, each no more than 120 miles away from another. A highway across the peninsula...