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Mexico’s Fonatur partners with Australia’s EarthCheck to grow sustainable tourism programs

August 26, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Fonatur, the lead government agency responsible for the development and planning of the main tourist destinations in Mexico, has signed an agreement with EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainability program for the tourism industry, to partner in further development of world-class eco destinations.

imgHector Gomez Barraza, the General Director of Fonatur said Fonatur has a mission to create sustainable tourism destinations that attract world travellers while still supporting the environment and the local communities.

Mr. Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, said the partnership with Fonatur and the potential to work in multiple locations throughout Mexico marked an exciting juncture for sustainable tourism in Mexico.

“We hope to take the key learnings from over ten years in Huatulco and share these with the next generation of destinations such as Loreto and Ixtapa,” said Mr. Moore.

“This partnership provides opportunities to work across Mexico and help lower the environmental impact and operational costs while supporting local communities.”

In recent years, Mexico has shown a serious commitment to the environment.  In 2012, the then new President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, set an ambitious target to halve the 2010 emissions by the year 2050.

In 2010, Mexico’s emissions ranked 14th in the world in terms of output, with around four tonnes of emissions per person.

Commenting on Mexico’s environmental commitment, Mr. Moore said that if every government department including the Department of Tourism was to focus on reducing emissions and help achieve President Nieto’s objective, it would catapult Mexico into the position as the number one most sustainable country in the world.

“This sends a signal to the global community that Mexico sees economic opportunity in addressing climate change and preserving the natural environment and cultural areas,” he said.

“This is not only important for the environment, but also for attracting environmentally conscious tourists.”

In an era when climate change dominates the news headlines, there is growing interest in tourism that has a minimal environmental, social and economic impact. Tourists are looking to experience untapped environments and immerse themselves in local culture.

“As we saw in the 2010 FutureWatch Report, 73 percent of consumers want to know about the sustainability of a destination,” said Mr. Moore.

“Just saying you have a beautiful place in a pristine destination is not good enough. It needs to be audited and certified by an independent source, backed by research and metrics.”

FONATUR, in conjunction with Earthcheck, is doing just that.

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