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Nova scientia

versión On-line ISSN 2007-0705


IBANEZ PEREZ, Reyna María. Measurement of tourism sustainability in a small coastal town through indicators, barometers and consultation with experts. Nova scientia [online]. 2018, vol.10, n.21, pp.475-523. ISSN 2007-0705.

The objective of this research was to measure the degree of tourism sustainability and the contribution to local well-being that Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico has. This coastal community is subject to environmental protection due to the presence of reefs and the enormous diversity that counts, characteristics that are used for recreational purposes.

Although studies on tourism in small communities near the coast are scarce at a national level, it is a fact that the measurement of indicators is a very useful tool to know to what degree or not the strategies are complied with raised.

The research used a procedure based on three methodologies: those planned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); the latter is applied by the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) in Mexico. To improve the methodology and generate information on new indicators, mixed techniques were applied. Subsequently, the scenarios were formulated and delimited using the Delphi Method.

The results of 46 indicators (23 for the social component and 23 for the environment) revealed that the average Local Sustainability Index (ISL) is 0.70. When adjusted based on four weighting criteria proposed by experts, we obtained: ISLae1 = .73, ISLae2 = 70, ISLae3 = .73, ISLae4 = .84.

According to the first three scenarios, Cabo Pulmo, BCS, is located at the "Good" level of sustainability and, exceptionally, in a "High" or "Excellent" range within the last scenario.

The main findings indicated that Cabo Pulmo has a certain degree of social backwardness. However, this situation is not unique to the locality studied; rather, it is usually recurrent in small communities or areas near huge poles of tourism development.

When comparing the results with other studies, it was found that the site presents the same level of sustainability as other entities in Mexico, such as BCS. Also, it is located above nations such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan.

Derived from the results, it is recommended: 1) Pay special attention to improve the indicators categorized as critical, for example: health and education services, water quality for domestic use, housing with drainage, roads in good condition and the relationship visitors vs. inhabitants, and 2) Continue to generate information to evaluate the variation in the level of local sustainability, taking as reference different scenarios and incorporating the opinion of ex-experts (advisors, academics, government) and their own inhabitants.

Palabras llave : barometer; small; sustainability; tourism.

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