Sprawling Mayan ruins, can’t-look-away ceru- lean beaches, and an endlessly sunny climate lure tourists back to Cancun year after year. Despite its laid-back, anything-goes attitude, Cancun’s hospitality and tourism industry understands the urgent need to preserve the area’s natural beauty and native cultures. Thus, many Cancun resorts, golf courses, and attractions are implementing initiatives to conserve resources, proving that encourag- ing business and leisure tourism while main- taining a social conscience can be done both simultaneously and successfully. Leading the way, the Cancun Convention
& Visitors Bureau has joined forces with area hotels, destination management companies, tour operators, and attractions in a mission of sustainability and social responsibility. Groups can also join the effort with a new
program that lets them neutralize and even lower the environmental footprint of their meetings and events. The Cancun CVB cal- culates a meeting’s impact in CO2 tons, and groups can then neutralize that impact with the purchase of carbon credits. This program not only benefits local conservation efforts, but also helps to promote the development and protection of local Mayan communities. Groups can also volunteer with a popular hands-on sea turtle conservation program offered at a number of Cancun resorts. After specially trained staff members comb the beaches for turtle eggs and place them in a protected environment for nurturing, vol- unteers assist with releasing the turtles back into the wild, helping to save thousands of the endangered species. Theme parks, golf courses, and tour
companies are also joining the destination- wide effort to go green and embrace social responsibility. Several Cancun golf courses have been awarded the Golf Environment Organization’s certification for outstanding environmentally friendly courses, and many Cancun theme parks, due to their empha- sis on preserving nature, wildlife, and local Mayan communities, have played a large role in Mexico’s eco-tourism push. Because of efforts like these, Cancun’s local tourism industry has been able to positively impact the economic, social, and cultural develop- ment of various Mayan communities while also promoting Mexico’s natural and cultural treasures.
Eco checklist As part of the destination’s continuing effort to promote sustainability within the tourism and hospitality industry, the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with many hotels and theme parks, has earned certification from EarthCheck, the first tourism-specific benchmarking program for environmental management.