The Dirty Side of Mexican Tourism: How You Can Help the Environment as a Tourist

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Tourism in Mexico has done wonders for the Mexican economy, but like many other things, too much of one thing is never good. Negative impacts begin to take effect when the number of visitors is greater than the environments ability to cope with the volume of the incoming tourists.  
 
Flocking from all over the world, tourists pack their bags and head “south of the border” to visit the country of Mexico. Among Mexico’s many beautiful sites are Sumidero Canyon and Agua Azules, both located just north of the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in the Mexican state of Chiapas. They are both beautiful water-based sites that appear to be straight out of the national geographic magazine. Luscious forest cover the canyon sides as animals carry out their daily routines in the distance. The big issue arrives when the majestic view suddenly disperses as tourists sail through a sea of plastic bottles and bags and other man-made garbage.  
  
People visiting other countries must consider their own negative contributions to the place they decide to visit. The more people visiting one area often results in an increase in pollution and waste and a loss of biodiversity. The biggest dilemma lies between the desire to travel the world and the priority of providing the most benefits with the least amount of harm in each country. 
 
The visitor’s travel guide points out many negative aspects of tourism when the travelers neglect their surroundings. 
“Unchecked tourism development may lead to soil erosion, increased pollution and waste, discharges into the sea and waterways, increased pressure on endangered species of animals and plants, and heightened vulnerability to deforestation, as well as loss of biodiversity.” 
 
While it is the responsibility of the travel to decrease their footprint within a country, local residents also must take responsibility of their own. Locals should promote reservations and restorations and be more selective in where they choose to build hotels and resorts. Resort development creates traffic congestion and disturbs wildlife. 
 
Research done at the American University in Washington, D.C. doubles down on these claims, expanding even more on the issue. 
 
“Marine ecosystems suffer from the waste disposal by hotels, littering by tourists, fuel seepage from ships and other boat traffic….small island ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to tourism development because of their fragility and shortage of space and freshwater.” 
 
Mexico is filled with natural beauty that attracts people from all over the world, but if those who decide to make it their temporary home don’t treat it like their permanent own, the environment in the country will continue to decline.

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