May 15, 2024
Today´s Paper

Tulum Leads with Eco-Focused Tourism Plan

TULUM, México —In a significant move towards sustainable development, Tulum is set to become the first National Sustainable Tourism Development Zone (ZDTS), as outlined in a draft project by the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement. This initiative aims to transform Tulum into a leading environmentally-focused tourist hub, ensuring the preservation and promotion of its natural habitats.

The forthcoming decree, to be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, covers an area of 3,486 hectares that includes the municipal seat of Tulum and its coastal zone stretching 6.9 kilometers, home to a population of 33,428 according to the 2020 Population and Housing Census by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. The ZDTS designation will impose sustainable tourism practices within this green economy framework.

The Federal Ministry of Tourism defines Sustainable Tourism Development Zones as specific geographic areas recognized for their natural or cultural attractions. These zones will be established through a presidential decree. The designation marks a strategic move to regulate the rapid and hitherto haphazard growth Tulum has experienced. This growth is emblematic of the broader region of Quintana Roo but has occurred without adequate infrastructure development to support its expanding hotel industry.

Tulum Leads with Eco-Focused Tourism Plan

The draft project specifies that within Tulum’s potential ZDTS boundary, tourism activities and services must comply with applicable environmental regulations. These include diversifying service offerings and attractions, enhancing the current lodging quality through sustainability programs, diversifying service providers to include nature and culture segments in Maya localities, and fostering a portfolio of tourism and productive projects aligned with sustainable development principles.

This initiative began in the late administration of Enrique Peña Nieto and aimed at curbing the uncontrolled expansion prevalent in one of Quintana Roo’s fastest-growing municipalities. The decree will seek to implement policies encouraging orderly growth and allocate resources to meet these sustainability criteria.

Simultaneously, plans are underway to grant ZDTS status to Isla Mujeres’ mainland area, another region experiencing significant hotel industry growth, with 25,000 rooms projected over the next 15 years.

Tulum Leads with Eco-Focused Tourism Plan

The new ZDTS status will be cemented through urban regulatory instruments, such as the Urban Development Plan and the Local Ecological Management Program. These will incorporate sustainable development criteria that must be adhered to across the designated area.

Tulum’s shift towards sustainable tourism reflects a broader acknowledgment of the need to balance environmental conservation with economic development, particularly in regions renowned for their natural beauty and cultural significance. This approach promises to protect Tulum’s ecological assets, enhance its residents’ quality of life, and enrich the tourist experience.

As Tulum embraces this sustainable pathway, it sets a precedent for other regions in Mexico and globally, highlighting the potential of thoughtful, regulated development to foster economic benefits while preserving the attractions that draw visitors worldwide.

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