Preventive steps towards sustainable eco-tourism

The government of Quintana Roo state has clearly recognized the need to address the impacts of the tourism industry. As the environmental impacts of tourism are becoming more obvious, initiatives have been started within the tourism industry to minimize impacts and foster the more sustainable tourism at the same time. The Mexican government has decided to limit projects along the coast to prevent further damage to the islands. One of the first steps towards conservation of biodiversity is to ban the deforestation in sensitive areas. The regulation of carrying capacity have also been made. It is the threshold of tourist activity beyond which facilities are saturated (physical capacity), the environment is degraded (environmental capacity), or visitor enjoyment is diminished (perceptual or psychological capacity). The government has also established the local and regional zoning laws that restrict and ban construction in conservation zones of the Cancun-Tulum corridor, located in the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Additionally, for efficient infrastructure laws regarding the land usage have been made to limit the number of floors of hotels and preserve the five-mile area separating the tourist zone from the City of Cancun in the mainland (Dixon, 2001).

The recovery of tourism sites has been given a priority in efforts towards conservation. A significant planning has been made towards the rescue of beaches, ecological rescue and lagoon maintenance, restoring and rehabilitation of the central zone of Cancun city. The tourist facilities will be subjected to the rehabilitation and remodeling with special emphasis on eco-friendliness and sustainability. The government has been taking cautious steps towards new tourism projects principally other than the sun and sea niche. The awareness about the environmental problems can be raised by bringing both the people and tourists in a close contact with nature and the environment; it could be enhanced by implementing sustainable ecotourism. Incorporation of the principles and practices of sustainable consumption can promote the conscious behavior and activities to preserve the environment. By implementing this approach, tourism can generate substantial economic benefits, without creating any serious environmental or social problems. Also, natural resources on which the tourism is based on will be conserved for continuous use in the future.