Melóncoyote Vol. 1, No. 1   April 2010
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Tourism, Investment in Guerrero Negro’s Future

Emma Ambriz

  Because of its natural treasures, its friendly people and its whales, Guerrero Negro, better known as the birthplace of the Pacific Gray Whale, is a tourism hotspot and economic powerhouse for Baja California Sur. The Pacific Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) migrates each year to lagoons nearby to mate and give birth.  This impressive natural event has resulted in Guerrero Negro being recognized as a sanctuary for these magnificent marine mammals.

The presence of the Gray Whales attracts a large number of tourists from many countries such as the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and Japan.  Mexicans also flock to the area just to see the whales. Tourism has become one of the most important economic factors in the area and represents the second largest source of employment.  It has also led to the development and growth of tourism service providers such as Mario Tours, Ecotours, Malarrimo Tours, Ejido Laguna Ojo de Liebre and Ejido Benito Juárez.  These companies offer a wide variety of tour packages, including whale and bird watching, hiking, camping, cave painting trips, and salt works tours. Other services available in the area include hotels, trailer parks, restaurants and bars.

Unfortunately, concerns about crime and safety, the economic crisis, the climate, and illnesses such as the H1N1 influenza were important factors that resulted in a 25% reduction in tourism in 2008-2009, as reported by SEMARNAT and confirmed by tourism businesses in Guerrero Negro who suffered directly from the decrease. To overcome this loss in business, the municipal government and tourism businesses set out to promote and improve the quality of their services.  They were so successful that for the 2009-2010 tourist season, Guerrero Negro had trained 777 service providers, taking second place out of 11 locations for the area best prepared to provide services and security. 

So don’t miss the opportunity to get to know the natural treasures of Guerrero Negro and enjoy a whale watching trip, a true lifetime experience.  We are waiting for you!

Emma Ambriz is an activist and environmentalist from Villa Jesús María, Baja California.

  Correspondence: meloncoyote@gmail.com