Forum; Ecotourism; Rural tourism; Biocultural wealth
Objective: Determine the current state of nature-based tourism in the High Mountains Region of Veracruz, Mexico, by the analysis of participatory workshop results with most of the municipal tourism managers of the region.
Design/methodology/approach: A participatory workshop took place, the “1st. Nature-based Tourism Forum of the Altas Montañas de Veracruz Region”, for which an evaluation instrument was elaborated. The questionnaire, called “Technical Sheet for the Diagnosis and Inventory of Touristic Initiatives”, was filled by the participants. During this participatory workshop, the region was divided into five subregions and participants worked in separate tables by subregion.
Results: 106 consolidated projects were registered, 38 in process and 130 elements with tourism potential were identified; 53 problems that affect tourism in the region were also identified. A total of 123 people participated: 61 of them representing 32 municipalities, 16 were from seven municipalities, 12 represented five institutions and 34 people were organizers.
Limitations of the study/implications: The greatest limitation faced by this project was the participation of all municipal authorities throughout the whole region.
Findings/conclusions: Out of the 57 municipalities in the region 32 attended (more than 56%). The number of consolidated projects (106) is high, considering 44% of the municipalities were not present, which highlights that the majority are of the
community and private management. However, most of the projects in process aren organized by municipalities, which indicates their interest in tourism. Regard the elements with touristic potential in the region (natural and historical sites and traditions), the number registered was high (130). This is a consequence of the great biocultural wealth in the area, which can be developed and conserved through ecotourism.