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Popularity of ecotourism, nature activities on the rise in Mexico

Cancun, Q.R. — Ecotourism is a growing industry in Mexico with new figures showing nearly 25 percent of visitors choose at least one eco-activity while in the country.

It is estimated that of the total international travelers who arrived in Mexico last year, almost 25 percent participated in at least one eco-activity related to ecotourism or nature tourism.

The figures were released by the Ministry of Tourism, which noted the state of Quintana Roo also had a great ecotourism presence as a destination over the last year.

According to Rubén Gerardo Corona González, undersecretary of Innovation and Tourism Product of Sectur, globally, nature tourism is growing at higher rates than other categories. He says that one out of every four international travelers participates in at least one ecotourism activity when visiting Mexico, a figure equivalent to 8.7 million tourists who enjoyed Mexico’s National Nature Tourism during 2016.

The official explained that Sectur works with the Development Bank, FIRA and Financiera Nacional de Desarrollo, “To create tailored programs for nature tourism in localities with populations less than 50,000 with public investments in infrastructure and tourist equipment.”

He added that they have also allocated more than 900 million peso since 2013 to promote ecotourism throughout parts of Mexico. In turn, the promotion has helped support more than 100 ecotourism projects.

Corona González said that the environmental sector and the tourism sector speak the same language. “We have found a way to promote tourism without compromising the environment, making these sectors allies for development.”

In Mexico, there are 181 Protected Natural Areas which equates to 13 percent of the country, making Mexico second in the world with the most protected ecosystems.