Category Archives: Mexico

Tourism Governance in Mexico, evidence from the Yucatan Peninsula | Mexico


By: Matilde Córdoba Azcárate

Main characteristics

  • Tourism governance dates from 1970s
  • State led
  • Top-down approach
  • Federal public policy of Integrally Planned Centers (CIPs in Spanish)
  • Tourism vehicle for development
  • Development as straightforward modernization
  • Different development discourses, different tourism modalities, different actors but same logic of tourism as vector to attract foreign capital


(1970s-mid 1980s)  Mass Tourism Model

  • CIPs public policy is born
  • Confluence of Harvard economists, international agencies and national banks
  • Informed by creation of export processing zones in North or country
  • Turn to coastal tourism
  • Beaches as assets to attract foreign capital
  • Through oceanfront infrastructure development
  • Progressive delegation of tourism governance from government to real estate and hotel transnational actors

(mid 1980s- 1990s) Cultural and Natural tourism models

  • Sustainable and responsible development discourses incorporated into tourism governance
  • Cultural tourism: archeological ruins
  • Natural tourism: in Natural Protected Areas
  • Still, tourism conceived as vector of development as straightforward modernization
  • UNESCO and clientelar local, regional networks enter tourism governance

(early 2000-…) Existential tourism modalities

  • Discourses of luxury, care and empowerment incorporated into tourism governance
  • Hacienda tourism
  • Indigenous Luxury Tourism
  • Pueblos Mágicos
  • Tailored to specific elite segments of tourism industry
  • Philanthropic enterprises as part of tourism governance


Tourism Governance Mexico

  • Still in its majority state led, top down
  • Tourism as development
  • Under different development rhetoric: modernization, sustainability, participation, empowerment
  • Controlled tourism imaginary & material transformation of space
  • Advance different gazes: escape, encounter, contribute
  • Demand building particular stages: beach, past, biodiversity, cosmopolitanism
  • Different alliances between government, private, transnational and philanthropic actors
  • Result in similar social and spatial segregation as the one envisaged in the CIPs
  • Evidence from the Yucatan Peninsula