Terry Brown, our new Destination Officer, recently visited Mexico, meeting local and regional government, NGOs, hotel associations, hotel representatives, tour operators and local entrepreneurs.
The focus of the visit was the 7th Sustainable Tourism Expo (formerly known as ‘Green Expo Riviera Maya’), which is a platform to bring together green businesses, local producers and the tourism industry.
“One of the things many people were enthusiastic about was connecting Maya communities to the tourism industry, involving commercialising Maya crafts and tours to jungles, communities, and ‘cenotes.’ ‘Cenotes’ are natural wells which lead to beautiful underground rivers.”
As part of this event The Travel Foundation presented 11 awards to tourism businesses, NGOs and local businesses who fulfilled their ‘commitments to conservation’, made the previous year. See this video (in Spanish) to find out more about the successful green pledges.
We were pleased to see the Abejitas Melipona honey cooperative ‘Much Kaab’ and the Pitahi ‘jungle jams’ group proudly presenting their products at the expo. The groups attracted lots of interest in their products, achieving so many direct sales they had to send for more stock.
Both groups also now have commercial agreements with various hotel chains thanks to the Green Pledges initiative and hard work of our Programme Coordinator in Mexico, Yuri Flores.
“It was great to meet so many people from the region that are passionate about sustainability and are working towards preserving what is such a beautiful destination alongside the massive projected growth of tourism along the Riviera Maya, an area which already receives over 4 million visitors a year.”