Why Yucatan can bet on rural tourism

Mexico's fascinating state features tourist-friendly cenotes, haciendas, traditional medicine or honey producers

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

While Merida cultivates a more arty and upscale image, Yucatan is developing its tourist offerings in the interior of the state.

Optimism persists although some numbers are down. The influx of visitors to rural Yucatan decreased year-to-year by 9.3 percent in March, and by 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

But 2018 was strong overall. According to the state tourism department, nearly 4 million visitors represents an 8.7 percent increase over 2017.

Specialists gathered at the Fifth International Congress of Rural Tourism of the Mexican Association of Higher Education Centers in Tourism and Gastronomy, based in Izamal.

The specialists are true believers in what they do.

The rector of the Technological University of the Center, Ángel Antonio González Escalante, stressed that rural tourism is the best option to raise awareness of the region and the country. It opens a door to the world of those who work the land.

“There is no better way to make Mexico known to the world, that through the wealth of cultural heritage we have, our country is rich in heritage,” he said.

It is a tourism that involves the economic part, the social part and the human face of rural communities, where the organization and profits are distributed among members of the locality and the cultural and natural heritage is shown.

Workshops in gastronomy, native languages, traditional medicine and rural photography are good for both tourists and residents.

“It has the ability to provide a great benefit by promoting the coexistence and interaction of rural communities in which it develops through sustainable use,” said Raúl Paz Noriega, technical director of the Secretariat of Tourist Development of Yucatán.

In Yucatan, according to Sefotur, 77 cenotes are visited by tourists and managed by organized community groups. In addition, the state has 58 ecotourism paradores, 19 archaeological zones and 65 ecotourism services.

Source: El Financiero

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