Monday's meeting of the new sustainable tourism committee. Monday's meeting of the new sustainable tourism committee.

Committee formed for sustainable tourism

Isla Holbox looks to promote tourism while protecting the environment

A sustainable tourism development committee met Monday for the first time on Isla Holbox to create “a quality tourism product” while protecting the island’s natural resources.

The committee is one outcome of a threat by residents three weeks ago to shut down access to the island in protest against deficiencies in the sewer and water systems, garbage disposal and electrical distribution.

Representatives of the three levels of government, business and tourism leaders and non-governmental organizations met to lay the foundation and set priorities for the creation of a sustainable tourism project.

The committee’s creation ought to guarantee a quality tourism product, said a representative of the federal Tourism Secretariat, while promoting the care of the island’s resources.

State authorities expressed their commitment to addressing local concerns, while regional tourism promotion officials presented a new campaign for Isla Holbox, stressing the importance of replacing the current mass market focus with a niche market one.

Almost three weeks ago the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) announced an upgrade to the island’s electrical grid. Yesterday it announced that work was 34% complete and should be finished by October.

The federal Natural Protected Areas Commission (Conanp) will determine the maximum number of visitors the island can handle, taking into consideration population growth projections and input from the state Water and Sewer Commission and the Secretariat of Ecology and Environment.

Source: SIPSE (sp), La Verdad Noticias (sp)

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