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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkTravel & Outdoors 

Mexico Reports Advances in Eco-Tourism
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August 28, 2012

During 2011, more than 7.4 million visitors travelled to 174 protected natural areas in Mexico. The country is trying to develop a new concept of ecotourism in some of its tourist destinations.

Mexico City, Mexico The Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) revealed that the National Agreement for Tourism has reported advances in sustainable tourism and environmental protection projects.

Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara Manzo met with National Committee of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) official Luis Fueyo Mac Donald to evaluate progress on 17 beaches throughout the country.

Fueyo Mac Donald said that 181 tourism-related businesses have joined the Environmental Leadership for Competitiveness Program, adding that 450 service providers have been given training on environmentally friendly practices.

The official also noted that 40 businesses have been certified by the CONANP for their sustainable business efforts in jungle areas, maintaining footpaths and respectful whale watching activities.

During 2011, more than 7.4 million visitors travelled to 174 protected natural areas, a number that exceeded the expected total of 6 million.

Guevara Manzo said that the Sectur is working with environmental agencies to create an "S" certification that will distinguish tourism businesses that are committed to protecting the environment.

The tourism secretary went on to say that Mexico has a strong commitment to sustainability, and recalled that the Sectur recently signed agreements with the Rainforest Alliance and Earthcheck with the objective of reinforcing conservation projects within the tourism industry.

She said that these agreements ensure that Mexican tourism projects follow guidelines endorsed by the United National World Tourism Organization.

The Environmental Leadership for Competitiveness Program is a special counseling program created by the Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT) that offers guidance for eco-efficiency projects designed to reduce water and energy consumption.