Foreign Policy Blogs

New Eco-Friendly Tourism Initiative to Focus on World Heritage Sites

Expedia and the United Nations Foundation have teamed up as part of the World Heritage Alliance to promote sustainable travel to Mexico among its tours of UNESCO World Heritage sites.  As part of the collaborative effort, Expedia announced that its employees are joining forces with local community-based tourism companies to create cultural and natural tours in Mexico.  Expedia has sent employees to the Yucatan Peninsula town of Senor, a small Mayan community, to partner with a local tourism cooperative, Xyaat, to develop two ecological and cultural tours that conserve and celebrate local cultures and ecosystems while providing economic benefit to the community.

In March, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism and the Mexican Tourism Board signed a letter of intent with the World Heritage Alliance, Expedia, and the UN Foundation to jointly preserve and promote World Heritage sites throughout Mexico.  Sustainable tourism, like eco-tourism, attempts to have a low impact on the environment and local culture while helping to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems.  It seeks to be ecologically and culturally sensitive by supporting the integrity of place, benefitting residents, and respecting local culture and traditions.  Mexico's Secretary of Tourism is the first such official worldwide to sign a letter of intent with the World Heritage Alliance.

Links for more information:
Sustainable travel to World Heritage Sites through
Friends of World Heritage