Cancun, a once near-desolate barrier island, has now turned into a 21st century tourist heaven. What began as a small fishing island, surrounded by dense unexplored jungle and vast virgin beaches, is now a renowned vacation spot and the epicenter of Mexican tourism industry. …
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67, the central bank of Mexico identified Cancun as a potential and immensely profitable site for a purpose built resort in order to cater the demands of a nearby potential market, the US. "Due to the reluctance of investors to bet on an unknown area, the Mexican government had to finance the first nine hotels." (Siegel J., 2006). And thus, the first hotel started operations in Cancun which today goes by the name of Temptation Resort. By 1975, Cancun had 1769 rooms in service; by 2008 it boasted about 150 hotels with around 27,000 rooms in service. Apart from the hotels, the basic infrastructure also developed leaps and bounds. An airport, highways, potable water, electricity, telephone lines, convention center and harbors were built to jump start the tourism industry in Cancun. Second only to New Mexico, the Cancun airport handles almost 200 flights a day. Ultimately, the city has had to cope up with the immense population boost from 30,000 in 1980 to over 600,000 today (Rhoda R. & Burton T., 2010). Thus, it is not a surprising fact that Cancun contributes majorly to the Mexican economy. But this silver cloud has a dark lining to it as well. In a city that’s bustling with over 600,000 residents and visitors, socials ills come as a package deal. Crime and poverty, drugs and gangs, political unrest and prostitution reign the back alleys of the glamorous hotel strips. The core reason for this is the asymmetry in the socio economic population of Cancun. A worker working in one of the posh hotels at the Hotel Zone actually lives in the poorest of conditions in the downtown area. Mirroring this fact, is the rate of inflation that is constantly rising. Taking an general example of a hotel worker who earns an average of 50 pesos or $5 per day finds it almost impossible to...
Sustainable Tourism Practice & Planning
Cancun was nothing but an uninhabited barrier island in the Yucatan peninsula. In 1967, the central bank of Mexico identified Cancun as a potential and immensely profitable site for a purpose built the resort in order to cater the demands of a nearby potential market, the US. "Due to the reluctance of investors to bet on an unknown area, the Mexican government had to finance the first nine hotels". And thus, the first hotel started operations in Cancun which today goes by the name of Temptation Resort. By 1975, Cancun had 1769 rooms in service; by 2008 it boasted about 150 hotels with around 27,000 rooms in service. Apart from the hotels, the basic infrastructure also developed leaps and bounds. An airport, highways, potable water, electricity, telephone lines, convention center and harbors were built to jump-start the tourism industry in Cancun. The second only to New Mexico, the Cancun airport handles almost 200 flights a day.
It seems that the life cycle of Cancun is about to complete its 360 degree turn. It was born as a virgin island which had never felt the feet of man. It was desolate and untouched. And then man realized its true potential and turned it from a sleepy isolated piece of land into a hustling bustling elite tourist destination filled with lights, colors, technology and fun. But then there is only so much potential that one can exploit before the entire venture starts caving in on itself. That is what happened at Cancun.
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