Environmental Education and Ecotourists: Experience from the Yucatan Coast, Mexico

Antonio B. Ojeda (Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Mérida, UNAM, Carretera Mérida-Tetiz Km 4, Ucú, Yucatán, 97357, México)

Article ID: 4630

Abstract


Ecotourism is a tourism modality intricately linked to the principles of sustainability, due to its natural offer component and environmental education. The objective of this research is to evaluate the perception of ecotourists present on the coast of Yucatan. From a regional approach, the author selected twenty-five community-based ecotourism ventures (CBET) present in the area and analysed the perception of ecotourists through a questionnaire and its respective statistical analysis with nonparametric tests, and developed a general profile of the ecotourist applying a sociodemographic segmentation and based on a geographical segmentation the author compared the perceptions of two populations: national ecotourists and international ecotourists. The data reveal that the profile of the ecotourist on the coast of Yucatan is similar to that postulated in the literature. In terms of environmental perception the author found a significant difference in both populations, and believed that this difference is because the international market is more critical and demanding. In addition, areas of opportunity were documented in the CBETs in the way they carry out their environmental communication. The author concluded that ecotourism in the region is still an activity in consolidation and although it presents great achievements. It is still not possible to qualify it as a sustainable activity. We call for continuing deepening the studies of ecotourism demand and evaluation of perception, through comparative, longitudinal studies and with new variables that allow new test statistics, to contribute new elements to the ecotourism debate.


Keywords


Ecotourism; Community-based venture; Ecotourist typologies; Conservation; Mangrove; Yucatan

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/re.v4i3.4630

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