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2017: The Year of Sustainable Tourism Development

On December 4, 2015, the General Assembley of the United Nations (ONU) approved a resolution to designate 2017 as the “Year of Sustainable Tourism Development”. Because of this, hotel staff in the Riviera Maya, conscious of the importance of the environment (especially since it is part of the attractions the destination offers) has prepared a series of activities to educate the community.

The most important is the creation of a Destination Administration Organization with the objective of being run under the four global criteria of sustainability:

  • Demonstrate an administration of sustainable efficiecy.
  • Maximize the social and economic benefits for the local community and minimize the negative impact.
  • Maximize the benefits for the communities, visitors, and the cultural heritage and minimize the negative impacts.
  • Maximize the benefits for the environment and minimize the negative impacts.

Hotel staff knows the mark their industry leaves, and for this reason, they implemented sustainable hotel programs years ago. Also, last year the task was given to plan for the future by completing a Sustainability Diagnostic, according to Manuel Paredes Mendoza, director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association (AHRM).

“More than 40 leaders in the tourism sector and representatives of the government, the private sector, academia and other organizations united to develop an Action Agenda with realistic goals to confront the critical sustainability problems of our location,” he said.

He indicated that the agenda would present priorities and projects which will take effect in the next 12 to 18 months for the most urgent problems.

Paredes Mendoza said that they are seeking to comply with the Global Criterion of Sustainable Tourism, which is the minimum standard of any tourism organization which desires to be sustainable should be able to acheive. “The idea is to create a Destination Administration Organization, which includes independent organizations in charge of creating a space for dialogue, allowing for coordination between sectors and achieving a good use of limited finances in each destination,” he added.

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