Water pollution has been one of the main impacts that the tourism industry has on environment. Hotel industry generates about 95% of total sewage water which is significantly beyond the capacity of handling by sewage treatment plants operating in the city. Due to sub-optimal operation of hotel waste water plants, the large portion of untreated sewage finally ends up in the sea and is one of the greatest sources of waste water pollution from the hotel zone. Additionally, insufficient drainage increases the volume of unprocessed sewer ending in septic tanks that further leaks through the subsoil into the water bodies. Recreational vehicles such as cruise ships also generate significant amount of water waste that get discharged into the nearby water bodies. Spills and discharges of petrol, oil and toxic chemicals are other impacts that recreational boats and the cruise industry have on water quality (Salazar Vallejo and Gonzalez, 1994).
A variety of local sources of hydrocarbons has significantly contributed to the contamination of the near-shore waters. The tourism industry has also impacted the water quality through its abuse to meet the increased demand of food, construction and maintenance of tourist infrastructure. The water quality is affected due to run off of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides from landscaping, golf course management and agricultural malpractices. The increased percentage of concreted areas, roads and other impervious surfaces normally associated with hotel and resort development have contributed to the increased rainwater runoff from the coastal areas (Zarate Lomeli et al., 1999; INEGI, 2009).