Huatulco's Potential for Tourism

The Bays of Huatulco were a sacred site for prehispanic Mexico. Huatulco means “place where a peace of lumber is worshiped” in náhuatl tongue and was a place of cult, where an immense wooden cross was worshiped which, according to legend, was placed by a bearded man that arrived from the sea more than a thousand years before the Spanish conquest. Many associate that man with Quetzalcóatl because he promoted knowledge and kindness among the inhabitants of Anáhuac.

Mexico’s government is very interested in designing Huatulco as a tourism destination based on respect to its sacred history and Nature.

During the 1970’s, the Mexican government searched for activities that would create employment and wellbeing in apparently non-developed regions. Taking into consideration the great natural and coastal wealth of the country, it was decided to turn the tourism sector into a development priority. The government identified the zones with tourism potential and chose the regions of Loreto and Los Cabos in Baja California, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo in Guerrero, Cancun in Quintana Roo and Huatulco in Oaxaca.

The Integral Tourism Development of Huatulco Bays began in 1984. One of the first investments was the construction of the coastal highway between Pochutla, Huatulco and Salina Cruz.

On the 25 of March 2008, twelve Ministries of State signed an Inter-institutional Agreement with entities of the Federal Government, the State of Oaxaca, the municipality of Santa Maria de Huatulco and members of the private sector. Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón, the Governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz and Minister of Tourism, Rodolfo Elizondo, announced the “Rebirth of Huatulco”. This project is designed to use tourism as a means for generating employments, so that the young of Oaxaca have the option to achieve a better future in their own land. President Calderon recognizes that 24 years after having started this tourism project and despite having received hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, Huatulco still doesn’t have a positive economic yield. On this regard, Governor Ulises Ruiz strongly criticizes the official employees of FONATUR and the government of those 24 years, for having abandoned this tourism complex.

President Felipe Calderon will assign more than 14 billion pesos to begin this “rebirth” project. From this investment, during 2008 the Ministry of Communication and Transportation (SCT) will dedicate 9 thousand 300 million pesos to enlarge and modernize the highway network Oaxaca-Mitla-Tehuantepec-Salina Cruz y Oaxaca-Huatulco-Puerto Escondido. Additionally, SCT will donate 676 hectares to widen the runway of Huatulco International Airport, so flights from Europe and Asia can land.

The Ministry of Economy will invest 50 million pesos in supporting tourism development and promoting small business. The Health Ministry will destine 47.5 million pesos to the construction of two health centers, two hospitals and expanding the clinic of Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; it will also reinforce the action plans for emergencies, natural phenomenon and the epidemics vigilance system.
The Education Ministry will invest 11.5 million pesos to training in tourism and environmental attention and promotion. The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry will provide 11.25 million pesos for protecting the natural heritage and operate Huatulco National Park, which safeguards 6 thousand 600 hectares of the ecosystem.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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Foto Portada: Kevin Hutchinson Ver Licencia y Autor