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Areas of sustainable development needed to deal with Cancun, Riviera Maya growth

Cancun, Q.R. — Tourism officials say that areas of sustainable development need to be created to deal with the speed in which the Cancun, Riviera Maya regions are growing.

Considering the projection from the State Secretariat of Tourism for the construction of another 30,000 hotel new rooms in the region together with the already-operating 100,000 rooms, the Ministry of Tourism is looking to decree “areas of sustainable tourism development” to limit the speed in which areas are developing.

The concern is specifically with the Tulum Hotel Zone and the municipality mainland region of Isla Mujeres, who María Teresa Solís Trejo, Undersecretary of Tourism Policy and Planning says, are urgent.

She points out that these “sustainable tourism development zones” are urgent because some investors buy and develop with expectations of unreal public services, so “we need to match expectations with reality.”

Solís Trejo explains that new developments require services and infrastructure and need to be able to deal with traffic saturation, mobility, garbage, beach erosion and the contamination of drinking water. She says that the potential decree would be a pilot plan for the state of Quintana Roo.

“Before, the challenge was how we detonated the interest of investors to come to Quintana Roo. Now the challenge is figuring out how we modulate growth so that public services can keep up with such accelerated growth.”

“We bring different dynamics, but since political and administrative times are pre-designed, they do not help to create a long-term vision,” she added.

She explained that “what is involved is not only to build that long-term vision, but to be more participatory so that the communities understand that not everything in the world is about money, that not everything is how much they will give them for their land, but to keep the places where they live for the next generations.”

Solís Trejo pointed out that it is necessary to work as a team and think about the vision of the future the people want, and from there, take advantage of the resources, to see how that abundance can be managed with a long-term perspective.

“We are working with the government of Quintana Roo, making follow-up meetings to others that the secretary Enrique de la Madrid Cordero has had here, in which the urgency of creating zones of sustainable tourism development in the state was expressed.

“We talked about the municipalities of Tulum and the continental area of Isla Mujeres to, on the one hand, to see how to mitigate the speed with which it is being built and how we can generate those investments in services, in roads, in water treatment, in the provision of electricity to generate satisfactory tourist experiences and the quality of life that people want.”

Solís Trejo reiterated that construction needs to be slowed down to ensure the support of services because “some investors buy thinking about developing and with expectations of public services that are not realistic, so, you need to match those perspectives with reality.”

María Teresa Solís said that the areas of sustainable tourism development would be a process in places like Tulum where there are water and waste problems from development. The request has been made to begin diagnosing the possibilities and working toward a future that is wanted.