Luxury Tourism and Regional Economic Development in Mexico

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This article argues that little attention has been paid to the territorial and socioeconomic impact of consumer–service globalization on Third World countries. It specifically examines the economic role of tourism in Mexico and its limited effect on the country's regional development. Despite governmental support in order to enhance economic growth, currency receipts, and employment, tourism contributes less than 5 percent to the gross domestic product, and the majority of tourism–related jobs are precarious and low–skilled. The promotion of luxury resorts in coastal areas has led to highly concentrated and fast–growing enclaves of mainly foreign investment. However, this strategy has failed to stimulate productive links between tourist centers and their hinterlands and has led to large–scale urbanization characterized by a considerable lack of basic services for the resident population.

Keywords: Mexico; coastal urbanization; regional development; tourism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: El Colegio de Michoacán 2: National University of Mexico

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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